The Abu Dhabi Open finalists had contrasting results in their respective first round matches at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open on Tuesday. Belinda Bencic, who won the WTA 500 last week, advanced to the second round in Doha while runner-up Liudmila Samsonova fell out.
Bencic pulled off a commanding 6-0, 6-1 victory against Viktoriya Tomova in just 58 minutes. Bencic won 75% of her first serve points and 54% of her second serve points. She also won 89% of the points on the Bulgarian’s second serve return.
The seventh-seeded Swiss saved all three break points she faced by converting five break points on Tomova’s serve. Victoria Azarenka will be Bencic’s next rival.
Qatar TotalEnergies Open: Liudmila Samsonova falters
Meanwhile, Sofia Kenin defeated Samsonova 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and a half.
Kenin put in 80% of her first serves and won 55% of her first serve points. Samsonova won 42% of her first serve points. The former Australian Open champion won 68% of points on her second serve and 62% of points on Samsonova’s second serve return.
Kenin saved 13 of the 15 break points she faced while converting six of nine break points on her opponent’s serve. This was the first time in almost three years, since the 2020 French Open, Kenin had defeated a player ranked in the top 20 of the WTA rankings.
She will play Veronika Kudermetova in the round of 16. Two former champions in Doha had mixed fortunes in their first round matches. Petra Kvitova, who claimed the title in 2021, edged past Shuai Zhang 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 15 minutes.
The Czech won 84% of her first serve points to Zhang’s 55%. She saved two of the four break points she faced while converting five break points on the Chinese’s serve. Finally, Elise Mertens, the winner of the 2018 edition of the Qatar TotalEnergies Open fell at the hands of Danielle Collins.
The American won 6-4, 7-6(6) in one hour and 56 minutes. Photo Credit: WTA Twitter