🇶🇦 Qatar Total Open, Doha – Final Preview + Prediction:
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇪🇸 Garbine Muguruza
Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza go head-to-head in Saturday’s Qatar Total Open final, a rematch of the 2018 championship match in Doha. It was Kvitova who emerged victorious in Qatar in 2018 and in each of their last 4 meetings. However, it is Muguruza who has been one of the most consistent performers in 2021 and therefore enters this clash as the favourite despite her poor record in this match-up.
Kvitova and Muguruza arrived in Doha in contrasting form. Kvitova had a disappointing Australian summer, defeated by Nadia Podoroska in the second round of the Melbourne warm-up event before losing to Sorana Cirstea in the second round of the Australian Open. Conversely, Muguruza arrived in Doha fresh from a strong showing in Australia, but with unfished business to attend to. The Spaniard reached the final in the Melbourne summer series event, losing to Ash Barty, before reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open, succumbing to eventual champion Naomi Osaka from double match point up. Both Kvitova and Muguruza have overcome difficult opponents on route to the final this week, both are in great shape heading into Saturday’s finale.
Petra Kvitova’s route to the final:
R2: def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-3
QF: def. Anett Kontaveit 6-3 3-6 6-2
SF: def. Jessica Pegula 6-4 6-4
Garbine Muguruza’s route to the final:
R1: def. Veronika Kudermetova 6-2 7-6
R2: def. (3) Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-7 6-3
QF: def. Maria Sakkari 6-3 6-1
SF: def. (8) Victoria Azarenka WALKOVER
Kvitova holds a 4-1 head-to-head record over Muguruza. It was Muguruza who won the first meeting between the pair, a 3-set win at the WTA Finals in 2015, Kvitova has won all 4 matches since then, the last 3 were all on a hard court, 2 in straight sets, but most recently a 3-6 6-3 6-4 win in the Doha final in 2018.
Expecting a tight, high quality final. Muguruza’s recent form is stronger but Kvitova has the head-to-head edge. I’m going to side with Muguruza here, she has been impressive over the last month and I don’t believe this is necessarily a bad match-up for the Spaniard despite the negative head-to-head record. If anything, Muguruza should enjoy playing a lefty, her strong backhand gives her an edge in these matchups. Muguruza has shown in recent times that she has the game to handle top level, powerful opponents, a win over the red-hot Sabalenka this week and almost beating Naomi Osaka in Melbourne are proof of that. Kvitova’s form is still questionable despite her run to the final this week, playing an in-form Muguruza is a big step up in opposition.
Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to defeat Petra Kvitova in 3 sets
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