beIN Media Group and its flagship sports channel beIN Sports will broadcast the 2021 Australian Open men’s qualifying on its OTT service beIN Connect for its subscribers and viewers live from the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar. Since the pandemic began, Qatar has increasingly become the COVID-safe sports hub, with a […]
beIN Media Group and its flagship sports channel beIN Sports will broadcast the 2021 Australian Open men’s qualifying on its OTT service beIN Connect for its subscribers and viewers live from the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.
Since the pandemic began, Qatar has increasingly become the COVID-safe sports hub, with a range of major international events and tournaments relocating to the country due to its relative containment of the virus and existing world class facilities. Sports federations, tournaments and leagues also see the advantage of Doha’s centre-of-the-world time zone and location as helpful in minimizing any disruption to playing conditions; with – for example – the playing surface within the Khalifa venue itself being precisely the same as at the Australian Open.
Qatar Tennis Federation Board Member, Karim Alami, said: “It’s our pleasure to have the opportunity of hosting the qualifying rounds of the 2021 Australian Open, and we are glad to welcome all the participating players to Doha. We promise them an exceptional experience which will live up to Qatar’s globally recognised reputation as a major destination for world sports. Selecting Doha to host the 2021 Australian Open qualifiers due to coronavirus pandemic reflects the global trust in Qatar’s abilities, and we are not going to leave any stoned unturned in organising a world-class event.”
Alami also stressed that the federation would work alongside the health authorities to ensure the safety of the players and to organise a risk-free event.
The decision to host qualifying offshore was done due to COVID-19 travel restrictions to Australia. The decision though was an innovative solution for the Australian Open with 128 players set to compete in a state-of-the-art venue for sixteen qualifying spots in the Australian Open main draw to be held in Melbourne from 8-21 February.
Duncan Walkinshaw, Acting Director of Programs for beIN MENA, added: “We are extremely excited to be streaming the 2021 Australian Open qualifiers on our beIN CONNECT platform. beIN is delighted to be at the heart of all the action, showcasing world-class tennis tournaments such as the WTA, ATP and Australian Open to its millions of viewers and subscribers from across the globe. beIN SPORTS will proudly broadcast these important matches from Doha this week to tennis fans across the region, demonstrating our commitment to becoming the leading global sport and entertainment network with such a diverse portfolio of premium global events.”
beIN Media Group’s beIN Connect OTT service features exclusive and comprehensive access to sporting competitions including the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Ligue 1, NBA and so much more. beIN Connect also offers subscribers exclusive access to cookery channels such as the famous beIN Gourmet and kid’s channels JeemTV, Baraem and beJunior.
In recent months, Qatar has also hosted international squash and other major relocated sports tournaments; and the Emir of Qatar Cup spectacularly took place in front of thousands of fans in the newly inaugurated Ahmed bin Ali stadium on 18 December. Separately, the country’s preparations for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup have been unaffected by COVID-19 due to the relative containment of the virus and advanced works, while Qatar was awarded hosting rights to the Asian Games 2030 as a further sign of its international standing as one of the leading sports hubs in the world.
Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley commented: “We are very grateful to our friends in Qatar for hosting the Australian Open 2021 men’s qualifying event in Doha. Staging the Australian Open qualifying event and providing players with the opportunity to both earn prize money and win the chance to play Grand Slam tennis during this difficult time has been a key objective in all our planning. I would particularly like to thank Nasser Al Khelaifi, Karim Alami and the Qatar Tennis Federation who have led the charge to help us stage this event due to the current travel restrictions into Australia.”
The 2021 Australian Open qualifiers will feature an exciting mix of promising young talent and experienced players keen to achieve breakthrough results. Rising stars on the entry list include recent Australian Open boys’ singles champions Sebastian Korda (Australian Open 2018) and Lorenzo Musetti (Australian Open 2019).
beIN entertains and operates in 43 countries globally, including 24 countries across the MENA region. With broadcast on satellite in 4K and Full HD, the beIN experience is also available on mobile, tablet, computer and other home devices through beIN Connect.