Qatar Total Open, Doha Final Preview
(4) ?? Garbine Muguruza vs (16) ?? Petra Kvitova
The 2018 Qatar Total Open will come to an exciting end on Sunday with a blockbuster final set to take place between a pair of two-time Grand Slam champions, Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova. Muguruza and Kvitova have both shown a high level of tennis this week in Doha, especially Petra Kvitova who enters Sunday’s final fresh off an epic upset victory over world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki. A win for Petra Kvitova will see her move back into the top 10 for the first time since 2016. Kvitova is on a 12 match winning streak and holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Muguruza, but the determined Spaniard will be no pushover.
Garbine Muguruza’s run to the final in Doha is exactly what the Spaniard needed to ignite her 2018 season. Muguruza had not won back-to-back matches in 2018 before arriving in Doha. Muguruza started the event with fairly comprehensive victories over Ying-Ying Duan and Sorana Cirstea before coming from a set down to defeat Caroline Garcia. Muguruza’s 3-6 6-1 6-4 win over Garcia was the biggest win of the year for Muguruza, her first top 10 victory since Singapore last year. Muguruza was fortunate to receive a walkover into the final as Simona Halep pulled out of their scheduled semi-final because of a foot injury.
Petra Kvitova is the form player in the world right now. Kvitova heads into Sunday’s final in Doha on a 12-match winning streak, a run that includes a title in St. Petersburg a few weeks ago and a few wins in a Fed Cup tie last weekend. Kvitova’s path to the final in Doha has been extremely tough. Petra started the week with an easy win over Cagla Buyukakcay before coming from a set and a break down to beat Agnieszka Radwanska. Kvitova then claimed a pair of straight set wins over Elina Svitolina and Julia Goerges to set up a semi-final showdown with Caroline Wozniacki. For the second time this week, Kvitova managed to win from a set and a break down, overcoming a wayward start to beat the world number 1 3-6 7-6 7-5. Kvitova blasted 50 winners past the Dane in what was an inspired performance. Petra was very clutch in all the key moments, especially in the crucial second set tiebreak.
Petra Kvitova holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Muguruza. Kvitova has won the last 3 matches between the pair including a 7-6 6-3 win at the U.S Open last year in their most recent match. Petra also beat Muguruza twice in 2016, a 3 set win on clay in Stuttgart and a straight set win in Beijing. Clearly this has been a favourable match-up for Kvitova.