DOHA, February 23, 2016
Saisai Zheng caused the major upset in the second round of the WTA Premier Qatar Total Open in Doha on Tuesday. The world number 72 from China stunned reigning Australian Open champion and tournament’s top-seed Angelique Kerber on their return to the tour. Zheng captialized on five of her seven break point chances to win 7-5, 6-1 in only one hour and 19 minutes.
The tournament’s number two Simona Halep also fell in her opening match. The world number four from Romania lost ot Russian qualifier Elena Vesnina 7-6, 4-6, 1-6. Vesnina won 70% of his first service points as well as 51% of the total points to prevail in two hours and 21 minutes. Vesnina will meet Caroline Wozniacki next.
Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska remains the highest ranked player in the tournament, as she defeated Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 33 minutes.
“About today, definitely was not that greatest match. Obviously it was hard conditions, but I won. That’s the most important thing. The first matches are always very tricky, especially the different conditions everywhere, and here in Doha as well. We used to that it’s always a bit windy and can be very tough. I’m happy with that win and ready for the next one,” Radwanska told afterwards taking on Monica Niculescu next.
“Something just clicked in Asia, and I was playing much better tennis. I was feeling on court much better. Played really solid since that. Well, but to be honest, I didn’t change anything. I just think being consistent, working hard. Maybe the score at the tournament were not that good as expecting, but I was still doing my thing. Practicing the same way, doing my thing. Suddenly it worked out,” the world number three added referring to her good results in recent times.
Fourth seed Garbine Muguruza cruised past Nao Hibino 6-2, 6-0. The 22-year-old Spaniard saved all of the three break points he faced, converting five of her own to advance after only 58 minutes.
Canadian wild card Eugenie Bouchard continued her successful run in Doha, winning 7-6, 7-5 over Denisa Allertova in 90 minutes.
“I’m happy with the way I fought, but I definitely feel like my level of tennis could be better. Directly after the match today, I went to the practice court to do some extra serves because I just felt like that part of my game today was really not good enough,” the 21-year-old told.
“I can’t complain even if I play terrible. I’m so happy to be back on tour. I’m really grateful. I really realized how much I missed and loved tennis when I was forced out because of my injury at the end of 2015. So grateful is the main feeling and motivated,” Bouchard continued and stated that she is fully recovered now.
“I still, you know, take it day by day, and I’m careful with everything I do. Still analyzing and still self-assessing how I feel. But I was able to go to Australia, play some good matches over there. So I’m confident of taking a step forward. I hope to continue to do so.”