Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are in Doha, ready to play in the Qatar Open, an ATP 250 tournament. They started the festivities with a publicity stunt – this time the two hit on a “Magic Carpet” as it was raised above Doha’s Souq Waqif on Sunday.
*UPDATED* With this video from the ATP, which makes the stunt look even more tedious. Poor twenty-something multimillionaires! I’m glad I can just stay at home and watch TV in obscurity:
This, I guess, is why these guys make the big bucks:
“It was fun to play Rafa on yet another stage,” Roger was quoted, “We have had so many battles on a lot of different courts but this was the first time for anyone to play on a magic carpet.”
Yeah, maybe there’s a reason people don’t normally play tennis on floating carpets! Yikes!
But I’m always a sucker for a Roger/Rafa photo op:
Sorry, Rafa, but that orange shirt is still scary, even with you in it! But the shorts are okay. As for Roger, he must be the tannest Swiss man on earth,
Roger and Rafa will take to the court starting on Tuesday – the highest seed in action on Monday is Mikhail Youzhny. Click here for the ATPs preview and Monday’s order of play.
Here’s Roger on his high hopes for 2010 (via the Gulf Times)
“I know I can do it again, although it’s difficult. It’s difficult just because you have to be so consistent at the highest level. But I think I can win more tournaments this season unlike last year.”
“I’m happy the way I have been able to bounce back and notch up wins at Madrid, Paris and Wimbeldon. To show that I can win when my game is on and I can be almost unbeatable, that’s a good feeling,” said Federer, a two-time winner of the Qatar Open.
“I feel my game is where it is supposed to be. I didn’t play that great towards the end of the season in Paris and London. If I can make a few adjustments, I think I can play really well.”
Nadal says it’s so far, so good for him (via AP): “I got three matches in Abu Dhabi. I felt good on court. I was moving well on the court.”
Roger plays Christophe Rochus and Rafa plays Simone Bolelli in their first round matches.
Here’s last year’s Federer/Nadal hit and giggle. There’s a funny moment when the two are loading the trunk of their car: