WTA Tour wraps: Kvitova out to go one better

THE stage is set for a brilliant final in Doha, while the Lyon semi-finalists are locked in following a mixed bag of results.

Petra Kvitova will take on Garbine Muguruza in the 2021 Qatar Total Open final today after ending the run of American qualifier Jessica Pegula yesterday. The fourth seed Czech won 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes to book her place in the final, her first in 12 months since losing the Doha final to Aryna Sabalenka last year. She said she enjoyed playing in Doha, but hoped to build that form elsewhere around the WTA Tour.

“I would love to know it, as well, why I’m playing well in Doha,” Kvitova said post-match. “I would love to play everywhere very well, but of course sometimes it’s not easy.”

Kvitova served the only two aces of the match, and did not procude a double fault, commanding a strong position on serve with 58.5 and 50.0 per cent of her first and second serve points off a 77.4 per cent efficiency. It far eclipsed an efficient, yet unable to capitalise, Pegula who served at 71 per cent, but only won 49 and 40 per cent of her first and second serve points. Still broken four times, Kvitova managed to break Pegula six times to have the additional break in each set, and win in straight sets.

“Today was so windy, and I’m not sure if it was a matter of tennis, but it was really about putting lot of balls into the court,” Kvitova said. “But then Jessica played really great, and I really have to play great, as well.”

In the end, Kvitova hit a balanced 26 winners and 26 unforced errors, which while not overly impressive, was better than her opponents’ 17 winners to 28 unforced errors. It ended the run of Pegula who went all the way through qualifying to the semi-final, the first player to do so at Doha. Now she sets her sights on Muguruza who won following a withdrawal from opponent and fellow Grand Slam winner, Victoria Azarenka.

“First of all, just being in the final for me, it’s great,” Kvitova said. “We played many times already against Garbiñe. We played a final here 2018, as well, which was a roller-coaster. I know she’s really in great form. She’s playing really well. “We play a similar game. So it will be really, I think, about a few points, as it was in the past.”

Kvitova will be going for her 28th WTA Tour title when she steps out on court against Muguruza – whom she has a 4-1 head-to-head record against – and she has already entrenched herself inside the Top 10, to sit eighth, having risen above Sabalenka and Bianca Andreescu. Pegula’s rise up the order continued with the 27-year-old now inside the Top 40 moving up eight spots to be 36th in the world.


[4] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated [Q] Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-4 6-4
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated [8] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) W/O


In Lyon, a couple of seeds and a couple of qualifiers have booked their places in the semi-finals after the completion of the quarter finals overnight. The top ranked remaining player in the draw, Fiona Ferro took down French wildcard Clara Burel after a nervous start, while seventh seed Spaniard Paula Badosa became the villain when she knocked out fourth seed Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic in three sets.

Ferro needed 91 minutes to defeat Burel, falling behind with a disappointing first set to drop it 6-2, before finding her groove and winning the next two 6-1 6-3 to advance through to the semi-finals. Burel served at an elite 82.4 per cent efficiency, but could only capitalise off 5.14 and 26.7 per cent of her first and second serve points respectively, as Ferro broke her serve times to the wildcard’s five. Ferro won 63 and 42.9 per cent of her first and second serve points in the match to set up a semi-final clash with Vikrtorija Golubic.

Meanwhile Badosa took part in an epic three setter against Mladenovic, having to bounce back from a second set tiebreaker loss to win, 7-5 6-7 6-2 in two hours and 36 minutes. The win included Badosa claiming 72.1 and 31.3 per cent of her first and second serve points, breaking nine times from 12 chances, and bravely defending 12 break point opportunities as the fourth seed capitalised six times.

Now Badosa will go on to play Danish qualifier and teenager, Clara Tauson who continued her giant-killing run to the semis with a straight sets win over Italian Camila Giorgi. Tauson won 6-3 6-1 in just 70 minutes to advance to a semi-final in her first ever WTA Tour event. The Dane now sits at 117th in the world having moved up 22 spots on the world rankings. She takes on Golubic who won their semi-final over Belgian Greet Minnen. The Swiss qualifier won 6-3 7-6 in an hour and 41 minutes to set up a clash with Tauson. The Dane won a clash a few starts back on the ITF Tour for her most recent title so will be keen to repeat the dose again.


[2] Fiona Ferro (FRA) defeated [WC] Clara Burel (FRA) 2-6 6-1 6-3
[7] Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated [4] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 7-5 6-7 6-2
[Q] Clara Tauson (DEN) defeated Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-3 6-1
[Q] Viktorija Golubic (SUI) defeated Greet Minnen (BEL)

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