Victoria Azarenka reached the second round of the Qatar TotalEnergies Open on Monday. Not the previous world. 1, who won the title in Doha for two consecutive years in 2012-13, needed just over an hour to defeat her wild card partner, Turkey’s Ipek Oz, 6-1, 6-1.
Both players had a high percentage of first serves. Oz put in 77% of her first serves, while Azarenka put in 70%. But where Oz won just 32% of his first serve points, his 33-year-old opponent won 78%. Azarenka won 50% of the points on his second serve and 60% of the points on Oz’s second serve return.
Azarenka lost serve once in the match, but went on to convert six break points at world no. Service of 196. In the second round, Azarenka will play Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova or seventh seed Belinda Bencic.
Qatar TotalEnergies Open: Veronika Kudermetova’s great effort
Eighth seed Veronika Kudermetova also advanced to the second round after a lengthy fight against Barbora Krejcikova. Kudermetova needed three hours to defeat her Czech rival 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5).
Both players won 73% of their first serve points. Krejcikova also had more game winners against her opponent: 41 to the latter’s 27. But Kudermetova had fewer unforced errors compared to the 2021 French Open champion, 18 to the latter’s 25.
The match featured just two service breaks, one of which was exchanged by both players in the deciding set. Both wild card Sofia Kenin and Liudmila Samsonova could be Kudermetova’s opponents in the next round. Karolina Muchova also won her first round match on Monday in Doha.
The Czech defeated Italian Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 19 minutes. Muchova had six aces in the entire match and won 77% of her first serve points to Trevisan’s 57%. She also won 70% of the points on her second serve and 63% of the points on Trevisan’s second serve return.
The 26-year-old saved both break points she faced by converting four break points on her opponent’s serve. For a spot in the quarterfinals of the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, Karolina Muchova will now play third-seeded Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman received a bye in the first round.