Qatar Total Open, Doha R2 Preview
?? (6) Jelena Ostapenko vs ?? Mihaela Buzarnescu
Jelena Ostapenko returns to the scene of her breakthrough event. Ostapenko made her first big breakthrough at a big event in Doha 2 years ago when her ultra-aggressive, bold tennis took her all the way to final. Ostapenko will begin her 2018 Qatar Total Open campaign on Wednesday with a second round clash against Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu. This will be an interesting encounter between two very contrasting competitors.
Jelena Ostapenko’s start to the season has not been great, the Latvian was always going to struggle to consistently replicate the highs of her outstanding 2017 season. Ostapenko arrives in Doha fresh off a busy week in Tallinn representing Latvia in the Fed Cup. Alongside Anastasija Sevastova, Ostapenko successfully guided Latvia into April’s Fed Cup world group 2 playoffs. It was a mixed week for Ostapenko, she was shocked in her first match by Cagla Buyukakcay but managed to win her 3 other singles matches in Estonia and won a decisive doubles rubber in the playoff final.
Mihaela Buzarnescu enters the 2018 Qatar Total Open at a career high ranking of number 43 in the world. At the age of 29, Buzarnescu is a primary example of a player finding their best form much later in their career. The Romanian has primarily spent her time at the ITF level, 2018 presents new opportunities for the 29-year-old as she can have a go at a full schedule on the WTA tour. This is Buzarnescu’s first ever appearance in Doha, she secured her spot in the second round courtesy of a hard-fought 7-5 6-4 victory over Lesia Tsurenko.
This will be the first career meeting between the pair.