By Britwatch Team
- Top Seeds: Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Dominika Cibulkova, Agnieszka Radwanska
- 2016 Champion: Carla Suárez Navarro
- CLICK our featured players for stats from TennisAbstract
DOHA, QATAR – The short Middle East swing kicks off as all eyes fall on Angelique Kerber – can she gain enough ground to reclaim her No. 1 spot?
Draw & Results
|Order of Play|
|WTA Doha $710,900||QF||16 Feb|
|D Cibulkova  (SVK)||75 64||S Stosur (AUS)|
|S Stosur (AUS)||63 36 64||B Strycova  (CZE)|
|C Wozniacki (DEN)||75 63||A Radwanska  (POL)|
|L Davis [Q] (USA)||75 62||E Vesnina  (RUS)|
|Ka Pliskova  CZE||75 64||C Garcia (FRA)|
|D Kasatkina (RUS0||64 06 64||A Kerber  (GER)|
Let’s not be too quick to write off last year’s World No. 1 who lost her post as Serena Williams powered to Slam No. 23. She had a shaky start in Brisbane and Sydney, and made heavy weather of her first two rounds at the Australian Open. We breathed a sigh of relief as she powered through Kristyna Pliskova, only to succumb to the heavy hitting of Coco Vandeweghe.
Her serve has looked troubling, but a long break hopefully will have sorted out those yips, and she has the chance to gain ground on Williams in the Middle East.
Pliskova surely has marked her card as a possible Slam contender this year – she started the year with silverware in Brisbane but came unstuck at the hands of the Mirjana Lucic-Baroni freight-train but the hard courts in the Middle East ought to lend themselves well to her game.
That being said, she has struggled to really make an impact here. On paper she should be in for a solid run, but the prospect of a Pliskova/Garbiñe Muguruza quarter-final should be a corker.
After a dream comeback from injury, with 2016 highlights including the Wimbledon quarterfinal and the WTA Finals title, a lot was expected from the pocket rocket. We ought to have expected more from her in the Australian Open than a mere third round exit, but she had a good run at St. Petersburg to the semi-final.
Her best in Doha has been the quarter-final back in 2008, and it could be a tough start against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova as a probably opening round. Barbora Strycova could await in the quarter-finals.
One of the biggest shocks of this year’s Australian Open was Radwanska’s second round loss. Granted, she too was part of the carnage wreaked by Lucic-Baroni having made it to the Sydney final (where to be honest, she was blown off the court by Johanna Konta).
The Doha courts seem to agree with her – she has been a regular into the semi-finals and we have a potential Radwanska/Caroline Wozniacki opener for the Pole which will no doubt test endurance of player and watcher alike!
The Qatar Total Open 2017 takes place between 13-18 February.
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