Day 2 at the WTA Qatar Open in Doha saw plenty of upsets. Elina Svitolina and Donna Vekic each fell. Neither could Petra Martic, who lost in the decider to Barbora Strycova. Seeded 12th, Marketa Vondrousova came out on the wrong end of a three set clash with Zheng Saisai. The 13th seed Alison Riske was also upset by compatriot Jen Brady.
How will the seeded players fare on Day 3? Here’s a look at four intriguing Round of 32 matches. We also have predictions for two other sets of WTA Doha Day 3 matches. One features Anett Kontaveit vs Aryna Sabalenka, while the other headlines Dayana Yastremska vs Sofia Kenin.
Doha Day 3 Predictions
Maria Sakkari vs Tereza Martincova
Head to head: Sakkari 1-0 Martincova
World #20 Maria Sakkari squares off against qualifier Tereza Martincova. In the Greek’s opening round, she blasted 22 winners, put 72% of her first offerings in play and had zero double faults. It was a solid performance and Sakkari has arrived in Doha ready to play. While Martincova has done well to reach this point, Sakkari will give her few openings. This should be another straight sets win for the Grecian superstar.
Prediction: Sakkari in 2
Veronika Kudermetova vs Belinda Bencic
Head to head: Kudermetova 3-1 Bencic
I don’t know what it is about Veronika Kudermetova’s game that troubles Belinda Bencic. But, the Russian has a clear margin in the head to head. The Swiss sits nearly 30 ranking spots above Kudermetova. Yet, the history surely doesn’t fit that ranking disparity. Bencic will need to start strong if she wants to see the third round. Kudermetova has been in relatively good touch. I never count Bencic out though, as she has the uncanny knack of finding a way to win matches.
Prediction: Bencic in 3
Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Iga Swiatek
Head to head: First meeting
Iga Swiatek will want to up her first serve percentage against hard hitting Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Pole’s opener saw the teen get 56% of her first delivery in play. Thankfully, Swiatek was able to win 69% of those. It was really the Swiatek return game that was the catalyst. The teen broke Vekic six times. Swiatek has a 7-1 win-loss record for 2020, and I expect she’ll add one more to the win column on Wednesday.
Prediction: Swiatek in 3
Ashleigh Barty vs Laura Siegemund
Head to head: First meeting
Ashleigh Barty starts her Doha campaign against Germany’s Laura Siegemund. The World #1 currently boasts a 9-2 win-loss record for 2020. It seems the predicted pressure of being #1 doesn’t affect the Aussie who claimed the title in Adelaide.
Laura Siegemund opened with a straight sets win over Shvedova. In that match, the German served at 85% first balls in play and broke on five of her eight opportunities. It was a solid match for Siegemund. Yet, Barty has such variety, craft and power which should debilitate the veteran Siegemund.
Prediction: Barty in 2
Main Photo from Getty.