WTA Qatar Open Day 3 Predictions Including Garbine Muguruza vs Aryna Sabalenka

Garbine Muguruza in action ahead of the WTA Qatar Open.

Day three at the WTA Qatar Open should feature plenty of entertaining action for the fans in Doha, with a number of star names set to take to the court to fight for a place in the last eight. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Petra Kvitova vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. But who will reach the quarterfinals?

WTA Qatar Open Day Three Predictions

Victoria Azarenka vs Laura Siegemund

Head-to-head: Siegemund 1-0 Azarenka

It is turning into quite the week for Laura Siegemund at the WTA Qatar Open. The German arrived in Doha after a largely indifferent start to the season in Australia, but she has found some form here, storming through the qualifying with straight-sets wins over Andreja Klepac, Elena-Gabriela Ruse and Lesia Tsurenko before stunning world #23 Elena Rybakina 7-6 7-6 in the first round of the main draw. Her reward is a crack at the eighth seed Victoria Azarenka.

The former-world #1, who finished 2020 in such impressive fashion, has not quite found her feet so far in 2021. But her convincing first-round win over Svetlana Kuznetsova was encouraging, with the Belarusian striking the ball very cleanly and moving well. Siegemund has been playing well enough so far this week to suggest that she can give Azarenka a match, but there is a gulf in class in this matchup and it is not in the German’s favour. Expect that to prove to be the difference in the key moments.

Prediction: Azarenka in 3
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Jelena Ostapenko vs Jessica Pegula

Head-to-head: Ostapenko 1-1 Pegula

This match should provide an interesting test of Jessica Pegula’s credentials as the American attempts to backup her impressive run to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open. Thus far at the WTA Qatar Open, Pegula has looked every inch as sharp as she did at Melbourne Park, having dispatched Gabriela Dabrowski, Anastasia Potapova and Misaki Doi in coming through the qualifying before dismissing the challenge of Wang Qiang in the first round for the loss of only four games.

Jelena Ostapenko, however, will likely provide Pegula with a sterner test. The Latvian may have begun the season in relatively disappointing fashion, but she was at her imperious best in demolishing the fifth seed Kiki Bertens in the first round, adding to the Dutchwoman’s woes with a 6-2 6-0 win. That said, Pegula’s greatest asset of late has been her ability to take time and angles away from her opponents with accurate hitting from the baseline. More of the same should just about see her past Ostapenko and into the last eight.

Prediction: Pegula in 3
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Misaki Doi vs Elina Svitolina

Head-to-head: Doi 1-1 Svitolina

Elina Svitolina is one of several star names who arrived in Doha looking to find their best tennis. The Ukrainian has not been playing badly, but she has been losing close matches earlier in tournaments than she would like. A three-set defeat in the quarterfinals in Abu Dhabi was followed by a match-tiebreak loss in the quarterfinals at the WTA Gippsland Trophy, which was in turn followed by a narrow three-set defeat in the fourth round at the Australian Open at the hands of Pegula.

However, it would be a surprise were Svitolina not to win her opener at the WTA Qatar Open, which pits her against Japan’s Doi. Doi did snap a three-match losing streak against Zheng Saisai in the first round in Doha and has beaten Svitolina before, albeit seven years ago, but it is hard to see how she will be able to hurt the Ukrainian in the baseline exchanges. Unless Svitolina has a markedly bad day, expect the top seed to reach the quarterfinals without encountering too many problems.

Prediction: Svitolina in 2
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Garbine Muguruza vs Aryna Sabalenka

Head-to-head: Sabalenka 1-0 Muguruza

This is surely the match of the second round at the WTA Qatar Open. Although both Garbine Muguruza and Aryna Sabalenka saw their Australian Open campaigns come to an end in the fourth round, both will surely be pleased with the start they have made to 2021. Sabalenka has already captured a title, having won the WTA Abu Dhabi Open, whilst Muguruza reached the final at the WTA Yarra Valley Classic, losing 6-7 4-6 there to world #1 Ashleigh Barty in a closely contested match.

There should be plenty of winners in this match, with Muguruza and Sabalenka both most comfortable playing on the front foot. But that might just give Sabalenka the edge. Muguruza is generally at her best on slower surfaces and although she has proved herself more than capable of adapting to playing on faster courts, she can struggle against the more powerful players, as demonstrated by her defeat at the hands of Naomi Osaka in Melbourne. Sabalenka should have just too much for the Spaniard.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 3

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