Qatar Total Open, Doha R1 Preview + prediction:
🇨🇿 Karolina Muchova vs. 🇵🇱 Magda Linette
Karolina Muchova and Magda Linette will renew their rivalry when they do battle at the opening round stage of the 2020 Qatar Total Open in Doha. Muchova and Linette both claimed victories over each other during their respective runs to maiden titles in 2019. Linette defeated Muchova at the quarter-final stage in the Bronx before winning the title, Muchova avenged that loss in the Seoul final a few months later, who will edge ahead in the head-to-head series with a win in their third career meeting?
Karolina Muchova has made a very disappointing start to her 2020 campaign and arrives in Doha in desperate need of a strong run. Muchova ended 2019 as one of the form players on tour but has certainly failed to rediscover that form in the new year. Muchova has only won 1 match in 2020, most recently she was beaten by Katerina Siniakova in 3 sets in Dubai last week in the first round, Muchova failed to win a single game in the deciding set, a very deflating way to lose.
Magda Linette arrives in Doha full of confidence having just won her second career title in Hua Hin a few weeks ago. It was a fantastic week for Linette in Hua Hin where she dropped just 1 set on route to winning the title. Linette’s run in Hua Hin will be a big boost for Pole given she previously made a poor start to the year; Linette will be hoping to continue to gain momentum in Doha.
The head-to-head record between Muchova and Linette is split at 1 win apiece. Both meetings took place in 2019, It was Linette who emerged victorious in the Bronx with a 6-7 6-4 7-6 victory. Muchova then dominated Linette in the championship match in Seoul, a 6-1 6-1 win for the Czech.
I’m going to side with Linette here. It is Linette who brings far superior form and confidence into this match. On Paper this is a very even match-up, so the superior form and confidence of Linette means she is the favourite here. Muchova is really struggling to find her game at the moment and will find life tough in this match against the Pole who gives very little away. Expect Linette to be too solid on this occasion, Muchova doesn’t seem efficient enough at the moment to get past such a solid, in-form opponent.