Qatar Total Open, Doha R3 Preview
?? (7) Caroline Garcia vs ?? (Q) Anna Blinkova
Caroline Garcia and Anna Blinkova will go head-to-head for the fist time on Thursday when they meet at the third round stage of the Qatar Total Open in Doha. Caroline Garcia enters this match full of confidence after claiming arguably her biggest victory of 2018 in the previous round, a gutsy 3 set win over Dominika Cibulkova. Ana Blinkova also enters this match with confidence having already won 4 matches in Doha after fighting her way through the qualifying draw.
Caroline Garcia was always going to struggle to replicate her outstanding season ending form of 2017 to start the new year. Garcia has not been at her best of late but importantly she has still been able to win some tough matches, reaching the round of 16 at the Australian Open without playing great tennis. The 7th seeded Frenchman received a bye through the opening round in Doha before beating Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 6-7 6-0. Garcia squandered a set and a break lead against Cibulkova, so her ability to rebound so strongly in the third set was impressive, a credit to her improved mental strength.
Anna Blinkova is having a great week in Doha. The Russian eased through the qualifying draw before upsetting two far superior ranked players. The 19-year-old beat Elena Vesnina 6-3 6-1 in the opening round before beating the 11th seeded Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 6-3.
This will be the first career meeting between the pair.