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Britain's Andy Murray Successfully Defends Title at Qatar Airways-sponsored Qatar Open

Doha, QATAR – British number one Andy Murray made a perfect start to the New Year by successfully defending his Qatar Airways-sponsored Qatar Open title last night with a convincing win against American Andy Roddick.

The world number four won in straight sets 6–4, 6–2 in just over an hour to clinch the Doha title for the second successive year in front of a packed crowd.

Qatar Airways was proud to once again be the Official Airline and sponsor of the first major tennis tournament of the year with the five-day event held at the Khalifa Tennis Complex in the Qatari capital.

On his way to success at the Qatar Exxon Mobil Tennis Tournament, Murray beat former world number one Roger Federer in the semi-finals. The event also attracted the world number one Rafael Nadal.

Murray is now firm favourite to win the Australian Open – the first Grand Slam of 2009 – when the two-week event begins in Melbourne next week.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways was delighted to fly the world’s top players and officials to Doha for what was an exciting week of tennis.

“We are proud to be a key player in the world of sport and what better opportunity to have had the best tennis players in the world on our doorstep this week. I would like to wish Andy Murray the best of luck in Australia next week. Sport plays a key role in everyday life and Qatar Airways is proud to commit to supporting sport as part of its ongoing marketing and communications strategy.”

About Qatar Airways: Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is one of the customers of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five on order and scheduled for delivery from 2012. At the Farnborough Air Show in July, the airline also ordered six Airbus A321s. Qatar Airways is due to move to the New Doha International Airport in 2011 when the first phase of the new facility is scheduled to open. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com

Qatar Airways was named as having the ‘World’s Leading Business Class’ by the World Travel Awards in December 2008 and is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the sixth year running in 2008 and the airline was voted Best in the Middle East for the third year in a row following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com

Qatar Airways’ first route launch of 2009 will be to Houston – its third US gateway city – on March 30. The daily non-stop service will operate using a brand new Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and make the Doha – Houston route one of the longest in the world with a flight time of almost 17 hours. Qatar Airways today operates a young and modern fleet of 65 Boeing and Airbus aircraft serving 83 cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.

Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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