The draw is out for the first WTA 1000 of the season at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, which begins on Sunday, Feb. 11.

The draw is led by World No.1 and two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek along with No.3 and reigning US Open champion Coco Gauff. The top eight seeds have opening-round byes.

Former No.1 Naomi Osaka also returns to Doha for the first time since 2018. She will face France’s Caroline Garcia for the second time this season. The marquee first-round encounter is a rematch of their matchup at the Australian Open. Garcia won 6-4, 7-6(2).

Swiatek returns to Doha bidding to become the first player to win a tournament in three consecutive years after Serena Williams won Miami from 2013 to 2015. Doha will be her first tournament since her third-round loss to Linda Noskova at the Australian Open. After a first-round bye, Swiatek will face either Sorana Cirstea or Sloane Stephens.

Along with Swiatek, Ostapenko anchors the top quarter of the draw. The Latvian comes into Doha as one of the hottest players on tour, having captured her second title of the season in Linz. She has made the final in singles or doubles all four tournaments she has played this year. She will face either British wild card Emma Raducanu or Anhelina Kalinina.

No.10 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia and Victoria Azarenka are also looming in Ostapenko’s section. She could face either player in the Round of 16. Azarenka is the only player to have defeated Ostapenko this year.

No.4 seed Ons Jabeur and No.7 seed Maria Sakkari anchor the second quarter. Jabeur will face either Lesia Tsurenko or Turkish wild card Zeynep Sonmez in the second round. The winner of Garcia-Osaka could be waiting in the Round of 16.

Sakkari will face either Noskova or a qualifier in her opener. Barbora Krejcikova, who is coming off back-to-back quarterfinals in Melbourne and Abu Dhabi, is also in Sakkari’s section. The Czech will open against Anastasia Potapova.

No.2 seed Gauff, No.3 Elena Rybakina, No.5 Zheng Qinwen and No.6 Marketa Vondrousova are the top seeds in the bottom half of the draw. Gauff enters Doha coming off semifinal or better runs at her past six tournaments, including her latest at the Australian Open. The 19-year-old American will face either Katerina Siniakova or Donna Vekic in the second round.

Rybakina, who is currently in the semifinals in Abu Dhabi, will face either Varvara Gracheva or Zhu Lin.

Zheng is playing in her first tournament since making the Australian Open final and making her Top 10 debut. She will play either Poland’s Magda Linette or a qualifier in the second round.

Doha: Defending champion Swiatek cruises to first title of the year


Leave a Reply