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QATAR EXXONMOBILE OPEN


January 3, 2012


Nasser Al Khelaifi


DOHA, QATAR

Q.テつ 25th anniversary of the tournament.テつ How pleased are you with its development?
NASSER AL KHELAIFI:テつ I'm really happy.テつ I'm satisfied where we are today.テつ I think, you know, especially with what the top players are saying about our tournaments, and hopefully the media, I think we are very satisfied with it.

Q.テつ How important is the tournament to Qatar and to the Middle East?
NASSER AL KHELAIFI:テつ I think it's been the first tournament in the Middle East.テつ It's been over 20 years, so I think it's really important in the region.テつ As you know, Doha today is the sports capital of the Middle East, and hopefully we are going to continue to get bigger events in Qatar.

Q.テつ Off topic from tennis, David Beckham, can you speak about whether he will be coming to ‑‑you wear many hats.テつ So in terms of PSG, will he be coming to PSG?テつ And if not, why?
NASSER AL KHELAIFI:テつ I wish David Beckham he's also tennis player, but unfortunately he's not.テつ But I think, you know, David Beckham, it's true that we have been negotiating with him for PSG, but finally he's not coming.

Q.テつ Why?
NASSER AL KHELAIFI:テつ Why?

Q.テつ How do you feel about that?
NASSER AL KHELAIFI:テつ You know, we feel disappointed a little bit, of course, but I think, you know, both sides, I mean, you know, we agree that it will be better for everybody that let's not do the deal today.テつ Maybe in the future.

Q.テつ It was just announced that David Beckham is not coming, so how do you feel about that?
NASSER AL KHELAIFI:テつ I just answered the question similar.テつ I just answered it.

Q.テつ What is the Qatar Tennis Federation doing to promote tennis here in Qatar with young Qataris to attract them to play tennis?
NASSER AL KHELAIFI:テつ Qatar ExxonMobil, actually the tournament itself, is promoting tennis here in the country, and of course with the kids, promoting Qatar, so we are trying to do everything to promote the tennis.
I think now the tennis, it's become very popular in Qatar after, you know, hosting this event for 20 years.
You know, there is some information I would like to maybe announce with the number of the channels broadcasting the tournament, it's been 15 channels in the world, so the first time in the history of Qatar ExxonMobil there is 15 channels.

Q.テつ The Qatar Open has gone through a lot of remarkable improvements and developments over the 20 years.テつ One of those that were talked about I think two or three years ago was the possibility of combining the men's and the women's tournament and upgrading this to a 1000‑level tournament.テつ Is that ever likely to be possible in the future, do you think?
NASSER AL KHELAIFI:テつ You know, that's what we tried.テつ You know, I mean, I was talking in Arabic about hosting bigger events in Qatar, and that's what we'd like to host, actually maybe the Masters 1000 tournament.
So it's always been our dream to organize bigger events here in Qatar, especially Qatar now really become very famous in hosting big events.テつ So I think it will be, you know, emphasis for us to organize bigger events.

Q.テつ Would that depend on the dates of the Australian Open moving, or could it be done without that?
NASSER AL KHELAIFI:テつ No, I think it's good date for us today.テつ It's preparation for a Grand Slam, and I think, you know, the players, they love Qatar.テつ It's similar, maybe a little bit hot and more hot than Australia, but I think, you know, the players love Qatar and that's why they are here.
Last thing, I would like to think ExxonMobil, our title sponsor, and the rest of the sponsors, and also the Cultural Village Katara for giving us the opportunity to host the exhibition between Nadal and Federer.テつ It was with all the media of the world.
So I would like to thank all of them.テつ Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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