Doha, The 2009 French Open and 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova will go up against tournament’s No.9 seed Aryna Sabalenka for only the third time in their career in today’s semi-finals.
Of the two previous occasions the duo has met – the 2019 Madrid Masters and the 2018 Indian Wells Masters – the results were evenly split between them with the 34-year-old Kuznetsova avenging her Indian Wells defeat against Sabalenka, 21, in Madrid. Interestingly, both matches were in the Round of 64 of the respective tournaments and they both posted straight sets victories.
In the build up to today’s clash, Kuznetsova overcame Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay, a wildcard entrant, 6-2,6-2 in her opening match before dispatching Polish Iga Swiatek in the second round. Her pre-quarters clash with USA’s Amanda Anisimova was, however, retired due to the latter’s illness.
Sabalenka on the other hand defeated Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, Greece’s Maria Sakkari and China’s Saisai Zheng respectively to enter the semis.
In the other clash, Czech Petra Kvitova will square up against World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, who is making her debut at the tournament. Of the eight matches between the pair, the wins have been evenly divided.
Barty defeated Laura Siegemund in the Round of 32 while her pre-quarters match against Kazak’s Elena Rybakina was retired before defeating Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the quarters.
Kvitova, who got a first round byes like the rest top-eight seeds, defeated 2016 winner Carla Suarez Navarro in the round of 32 followed by Jelena Ostapenko and Ons Jabeur.
The duo of Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko and Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski, the 2018 doubles champions, will have another shot at claiming the trophy for the second time as they go up against the Chinese Taipei and Czech Republic’s pair of Su-Wei Hseih and Barbora Strycova in tomorrow’s final.
While Ostapenko and Dabrowski defeated Hungary’s Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-4,1-6,10-7 in their semis encounter, Hseih and Strycova knocked off Czech’s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 4-6, 12-10 in the other match.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee