Doha R2: (13) Caroline Wozniacki vs Daria Gavrilova
An intriguing second round clash at the Qatar Total Open on Tuesday sees Caroline Wozniacki come up against Daria Gavrilova. This will be the first career meeting between the pair and promises to an entertaining battle between two ladies desperate for victory after recent troubles. Wozniacki finally recorded her first victory since Auckland on Monday in Doha but her second round clash with Gavrilova is likely to give a better indication as to where the Dane’s level of tennis is at right now.
Caroline Wozniacki arrived in Doha on the back of 3 consecutive losses including a disappointing first round loss to Yulia Putintseva at the Australian Open last month. The Dane secured a much needed first round victory over Ana Konjuh on Monday evening, recording a 4-6 6-3 7-5 win over the Croatian rising star. It was not pretty, Wozniacki was still far from her best and really struggled to close out the match. Wozniacki failed to serve out the match on multiple occasions and required 9 match points to finally close the match, not a good sign for the former world number 1. Nevertheless, a win is a win and Wozniacki was certainly delighted to break an alarming string of first round losses.
— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) February 22, 2016
Daria Gavrilova’s first round victory in Doha was far more convincing. The Australian rebounded well from a devastating first round loss to Ana Ivanovic last week in Dubai by claiming a comprehensive 6-1 6-1 victory over Misaki Doi on Monday. Gavrilova was unsurprisingly far more comfortable with the conditions in Doha, the conditions are quite slow and heavy, especially at night and that really plays into the hands of the Australian and should help her in her second round clash with Wozniacki.
In the first meeting between Caroline and Dasha, I’m going to give the edge to the Australian. Gavrilova’s form throughout the start of the season has generally been far greater than Wozniacki’s and I believe that this is a good match-up for Gavrilova and a bad match-up for Wozniacki. The Dane can struggle against players that can defend just as well as she can, particularly when they can also play aggressive tennis. Gavrilova certainly falls into this category. Gavrilova can be inconsistent but if she plays how she did throughout the Australian summer she should win.