After a thrilling week of tennis in Doha, just two women remain in contention for the WTA Qatar Open final. With both having won multiple Grand Slam titles and spent much of their career ranked inside the top ten, the final should provide a fitting conclusion to the tournament. But who will lift the trophy?
WTA Qatar Open Final Prediction
Petra Kvitova vs Garbine Muguruza
Head-to-head: Kvitova 4-1 Muguruza
Petra Kvitova doubtless arrived in Doha bitterly disappointed by her showing at the Australian Open. With the courts at Melbourne Park playing unusually quickly, it looked like the perfect opportunity for the Czech to make an impact, but instead she was bundled out in the second round by Sorana Cirstea. However, she has bounced back from that in impressive fashion at the WTA Qatar Open, marshalling her formidable power to considerable effect.
In her opener, she hammered Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-3 to record her ninth win in 13 meetings with the Russian, an opponent who has given her real trouble in the past. She backed that up by edging out the in-form Anett Kontaveit in three sets to reach her first semifinal of the season. There she faced one of the breakout stars of 2021 in Jessica Pegula but, just as she did at the US Open last season, she accounted for the American easily enough, winning 6-4 6-4.
Waiting for her in the final will be Garbine Muguruza. The Spaniard also lost at the Australian Open in frustrating fashion, although for very different reasons. The former-world #1 had arrived at the first Major of the year in excellent form and stormed into the second week, dropping only a handful of games in beating Margarita Gasparyan, Ludmilla Samsonova and Zarina Diyas, but fell just short when it mattered most against Naomi Osaka, losing 6-4 4-6 5-7 to the eventual champion.
But, like Kvitova, she has recovered impressively in Doha. She opened her campaign with a convincing 6-2 7-6 win over Abu Dhabi runner-up Veronika Kudermetova, before getting the better of third seed Aryna Sabalenka in a third-set tiebreak. That set up a quarterfinal clash with Maria Sakkari and, in one of her best performances of the season so far, Muguruza outclassed the Greek, winning 6-1 6-3. She then reached the final without playing a shot in anger when Victoria Azarenka pulled out of their semifinal.
It will be interesting to see whether that day of rest will help or hinder Muguruza. She should now be the fresher of the two heading into the final, but it may have disrupted her rhythm somewhat. In a match likely to be decided by fine margins, against an opponent she has struggled to beat in the past, that disruption could prove costly indeed. Expect Kvitova, who has an excellent record at the WTA Qatar Open, to edge out the Spaniard and win another title in Doha.
Prediction: Kvitova in 3
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