Petra Kvitova and Aryna Sabalenka will take on each other in the final of the Qatar Total Open on Saturday, in Doha. Kvitova ousted the top-seed and world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty while Sabalenka convincingly dealt with Svetlana Kuznetsova in their respective semi-finals.
Kvitova ended the stronghold Barty had on her – the Australian had been on a four-match win streak against the Czech going back to the 2019 Miami Open – with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win in an hour and 51 minutes. This is Kvitova’s first final in Doha since she took the title in 2018.
Describing her thoughts during the match, Kvitova shared after, “I pushed myself a lot to go more deeper to the court, not to flying back on the Qatar sign. I tried that she couldn’t have put me away from the baseline that much, so I took time from her and she couldn’t do that much with her forehand.
That was kind of the key, to try near by the baseline and just play from there and still pushing to the court… I did have chances in the last meetings with her as well, but today I was just maybe… braver and that’s how it is”.
In the final the former world no. 2 will carry a 2-1 head-to-head lead against her opponent, Sabalenka. As compared with Kvitova’s three-set battle, Sabalenka had an easier outing. The Belarusian won 6-3, 6-4 in 73 minutes against the Russian, who is a two-time former finalist.
Sabalenka who will be contesting her first final in Doha said post-match, “I’m really happy to be in the final here, especially because it’s my first time here. It’s really nice and I’m really happy with the level I’m playing right now and well, we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow, but for sure I will bring everything I have”.
Meanwhile, in the doubles event, Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova won the title after a 6-2, 5-7, (10-2) win over Gabriela Dabrowski and Jelena Ostapenko in the final. The Chinese Taipei-Czech pairing completed the Middle-east sweep with this victory – after claiming the Dubai Tennis Championships, the week before. This win will also see Hsieh regain the no. 1 doubles ranking. Photo Credit: WTA Twitter