Qatar Total Open, Doha R3 Preview
?? (2) Simona Halep vs ?? (13) Anastasija Sevastova
Simona Halep continues her 2018 Qatar Total Open campaign on Thursday afternoon with a potentially tricky third round clash against the 13th seeded Anastasija Sevastova in Doha. Halep made a successful return to competitive action on Wednesday in Doha, easily beating Makarova in her first match since that devastating loss to Caroline Wozniacki in the Australian Open final last month. Halep looked sharp and focused and will look to build on that victory against Sevastova, an opponent she has a great record against.
Simona Halep began the next stage of her career on Wednesday in Doha with a comfortable 6-3 6-0 victory over Ekaterina Makarova. Halep competed as a Nike athlete for the first time, a significant milestone for Halep who was without a clothing sponsor throughout January after her partnership with Adidas ended last year. It was an important win for Halep in her quest to rebound from the disappointment of Melbourne. Regardless of that final loss, Halep has generally been in awesome form in 2018 and looms as one of the favourites this week. Halep is a former champion in Doha and really enjoys the conditions and support she receives at this event.
Anastasija Sevastova has quietly moved into the third round in Doha without raising much of a sweat. Sevastova started the week with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Donna Vekic before beating Naomi Osaka 6-4 6-1. Sevastova is fresh off guiding Latvia into the Fed Cup world group 2 play offs so it has been a long few weeks for Sevastova.
Halep holds a 5-3 head-to-head record over Sevastova. In recent times, Halep has dominated this match-up. Halep has won the last 4 matches between the pair, all in straight sets. Most recently Halep beat Sevastova 6-4 6-3 in Cincinnati last year.