fbpx

Select Page

Doha | Barty cruises as Kenin and Mertens fall

Doha | Barty cruises as Kenin and Mertens fall

World No 1 Ash Barty is the first through to the quarter-finals of the Qatar Total Open after her opponent Elena Rybakina withdrew with an abductor injury ahead of their third-round clash, but Sofia Kenin and Elise Mertens, seeded 6 and 16th respectively, both fell on Tuesday.

I just feel like I can’t find my game, I’m not playing the way I want to be playing, so it’s pretty frustrating right now. Obviously coming off of Melbourne where I felt I was playing the best tennis of my life coming down to playing, not the worst tennis, but not playing the tennis I want to be playing. Sofia Kenin

Barty cruised past the dangerous German Laura Siegemund, 6-3 6-2, on Tuesday, racking up 19 winners on her first ever appearance at the Doha tournament.

Ranked 68th, Siegmund, with 3 wins over top-5 players, came through qualifying before beating Yaroslava Shvedova in round 1, but she was unable to live with Barty’s greater consistency and serving potency as she suffered defeat in an hour and 13 minutes.

“It took some time to adjust, just to the conditions, and having not played my opponent before,” Barty said. “Happy overall to be able to switch on when I really needed to.

“Disappointing to have a few lapses in concentration but also a credit to my opponent, she came up with some really good stuff in runs to be able to break me a few times.”

Barty was set for a rematch of her Australian Open third-round clash with Rybakina after the 14th seed battled past Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 5-7 6-2 7-6(8).

The in-form Rybakina has reached 4 finals in 2020 and won 21 of her 25 matches, rising inside the top 20, and last week, she came within a few points of beating Simona Halep in the WTA Dubai final.

“I’m really sorry but I have to withdraw from Doha,” she said in a statement. “I have a small strain in my leg and I don’t want to risk it getting worst. I will definitely be back next year, thank you for your support!”

Meanwhile, Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin lost her opening match for the second week in a row as Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska defeated the American, 6-3 7-6(4).

The 19-year-old served 13 aces and saved 4 of 6 break points to beat Kenin

“I just feel like I can’t find my game, I’m not playing the way I want to be playing, so it’s pretty frustrating right now,” Kenin admitted.

“Obviously coming off of Melbourne where I felt I was playing the best tennis of my life coming down to playing, not the worst tennis, but not playing the tennis I want to be playing.

“Creds to her, she played well, came up with some good shots at those important moments.

“She just played better at important moments, and I just made too many unforced errors, I just felt pretty flat-footed the whole match.”

It is Yastremska’s 4th Top 20 win of the season and she will face the resurgent Garbiñe Muguruza in the third round after the Spaniard made short work of Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, winning 6-1 6-2 in under an hour.

The pair will play for a shot at Barty in the quarters.


Carla Suarez Navarro bows out for the last time in Qatar

© Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

World No 3, Karolina Pliskova ousted Bernarda Pera of the United States, 6-3 6-0, but 4th-seeded Belinda Bencic was pushed to the brink before coming out on top against Veronika Kudermetova, 6-4 4-6 7-6(4).

Pliskova will take on Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur next, who beat American Jennifer Brady, 6-4 6-3.

“I think the beginning was a little bit tough,” Pliskova explained after her match. “We both played well, there were a couple tough, long games, but then somehow it turned to be quite easy, especially the second set, she was missing a lot.

“But she’s maybe loss her rhythm a little bit, I thought I was serving well, playing quite fast, so that can happen, I think.”

Former World No 6 Carla Suárez Navarro waved goodbye to Qatar for the last time as a player after falling in to a dialled-in Petra Kvitova, 4-6 6-3 6-0.

This is the Spaniard’s last year on tour after announcing her retirement at the end of the 2020 season, putting an end to a 17-year professional career that saw her reach 7 Grand Slam quarter-finals and lift 2 singles trophies, including the famous Falcon here in Doha in 2016.

“I do have beautiful memories, great feelings about this tournament,” Suárez Navarro told wtatennis.com.

A slow skid down the rankings has factored low on her list of reasons for retiring, the Spaniard explained that at 31 years old and playing tennis nearly non-stop since the age of 6, she simply wants some rest.

Kvitova will face former Roland Garros winner Jelena Ostapenko for a quarter-final spot after the Latvian’s 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Barbora Strycova.

Elise Mertens saw her title defence come to an early end with a 4-6 6-3 6-2 loss to Yulia Putintseva, who now plays Bencic; while Belarusian 9th seed Aryna Sabalenka also progressed, battling past Anett Kontaveit 7-5 2-6 7-5 to advance for a showdown with Maria Sakkari from Greenc, who found an answer to get past qualifier Tereza Martincova from the Czech Republic, 3-6 7-6(5) 6-0.


Petra Kvitova comes through against Carla Suarez Navarro in Doha

© Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.