WTA Qatar Open Day 3 Predictions Including Petra Kvitova vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Ons Jabeur in action at the WTA Qatar Open.

The big guns are set to join the fray on day three at the WTA Qatar Open with sixteen players ready to battle for a place in the quarterfinals in Doha. There should be no shortage of entertaining action and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Victoria Azarenka vs Laura Siegemund. But who will book their in the last eight?

WTA Qatar Open Day Three Predictions

Angelique Kerber vs Anett Kontaveit

Head-to-head: Kontaveit 3-1 Kerber

Angelique Kerber scored a much-needed win in the first round at the WTA Qatar Open, overcoming a first-set deficit to beat Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay 6-4 6-2. However, one suspects that the German will not find things quite so straightforward when she steps on to court to face Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian arrived in Doha in good form, having reached the semifinals at the WTA Grampians Trophy and the third round at the Australian Open and she backed that up by crushing Jennifer Brady in the first round.

The American, it must be said, was not at her best in what was her first match since losing in the final at Melbourne Park, but it was an excellent performance from Kontaveit all the same. One she will surely draw real confidence from. Kontaveit has also won three of her four previous meetings with Kerber, although the former-world #1’s only victory did come in Doha two years ago. Still, Kontaveit is the player in form and she should have enough to account for the struggling Kerber.

Prediction: Kontaveit in 2
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Petra Kvitova vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Head-to-head: Kvitova 8-4 Pavlyuchenkova

Petra Kvitova has not yet found her best tennis so far in 2021, something the Czech will surely be eager to change this week at the WTA Qatar Open. But the fourth seed has been set a tough opening test against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian has started the season in solid if not spectacular fashion and claimed an impressive 6-2 6-3 win over the big-serving Kristyna Pliskova in the first round in Doha, using her variety to good effect to disrupt the Czech.

She will need to repeat that against Kvitova if she is to contain the two-time Wimbledon champion’s power from the baseline. She has managed it before, beating Pliskova four times. Unfortunately for Pavlyuchenkova, she has lost the other eight. And, although the court surface in Doha is not lightning fast, it does seem to be favour player’s willing to risk attempting to land the first strike. If Kvitova can maintain her focus, expect her to overpower Pavlyuchenkova, albeit not without a fight.

Prediction: Kvitova in 3
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Madison Keys vs Maria Sakkari

Head-to-head: Sakkari 1-0 Keys

Madison Keys, after missing the Australian summer swing having tested positive for the coronavirus in January, made light of her lack of match practice by thrashing sixth seed Belinda Bencic for the loss of only five games in her first match of the season. Maria Sakkari, meanwhile, scored a fine win of her own in the first round, beating Mayar Sherif for the loss of only three games, righting the ship after a hugely disappointing first-round loss to Kristina Mladenovic at the Australian Open.

This looks set to be a more competitive clash. But one suspects that it will rest on the racket of Keys. Sakkari has many qualities, not least her excellent movement and solid play from the baseline, but her climb up the rankings has stalled around the top 20 for a reason. Against the very best in the sport, the Greek remains vulnerable to being dictated to and Keys’ win in the first round was sufficiently impressive to suggest that she is in a rather dictatorial mood.

Prediction: Keys in 3
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Ons Jabeur vs Karolina Pliskova

Head-to-head: Jabeur 1-1 Pliskova

This feels like a big match for both women. Karolina Pliskova remains firmly ensconced in the top ten, but it is some time since the Czech recorded a statement win and her performances so far in 2021 have been some way short of the required standard, with her 4-3 record for the season distinctly unimpressive. Ons Jabeur too has struggled, with the Tunisian having thus far failed to replicate her achievements of 2019 and 2020.

It may well be Jabeur who is the more confident coming into this match however. She has performed well in Doha in the past and beat Pliskova on her way to the quarterfinals last season. Jabeur also looked assured in dismissing the challenge of Anna Blinkova in the first round, with the world #31 largely untroubled in her 6-2 6-2 win. If she can replicate that level, particularly the skill with which she allied her power with soft hands, expect her to edge out the second seed.

Prediction: Jabeur in 3

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