Collins has happy memories of facing three-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek after having knocked out the Polish in the semi-finals of the Australian Open last year. “I haven’t had the best luck with the draws recently,” said Collins after the draw ceremony yesterday.
“But I think starting off the year, facing such strong opponents with Rybakina and Ostapenko and now potentially Iga in the second round, I’m being challenged with playing the best players in the world and I think it’s a good challenge. That’s the position you want to be in, right? Playing against the best people in the world. So hopefully I can just try to play my best tennis and I certainly will have to do that and maybe some better draws in the future,” she added.
At this year’s Australian Open, Collins lost to eventual runner-up Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in the third round, while she failed to get past Jelena Ostapenko in the first round of the Abu Dhabi Open last week. This is Collins’ first trip to Doha and she is hoping she can change her fortunes here.
“This is my first time here. So this is a part of the world that I haven’t really gotten to travel to before and really looking forward to being able to discover the city and be able to play some good tennis too. I’ve always heard great things about the event here and it being one of the most well run tournaments and one of the most hospitable tournaments too. So everyone looks forward to coming here and it’s great to be here for the first time,” she said.
No 7 seed Belinda Bencic or former World No 1 Victoria Azarenka could be potential quarter-final opponents for either Swiatek or Collins.
In the second quarter, fourth seed Coco Gauff has a first-round bye and will face either Zhang Shuai or two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in her first match.
At the bottom of that section, eighth seed Veronika Kudermetova will meet former Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova in the first round. The winner of that match will take on either Liudmila Samsonova or former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.
The third quarter is led by third seed Caroline Garcia (with a first-round bye) and fifth seed Maria Sakkari, who has a tricky opener against Zheng Qinwen, last season’s WTA Newcomer of the Year.
In the bottom half of the draw, second seed Jessica Pegula will meet either fellow American Madison Keys or former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko in round two.
Sixth seed Daria Kasatkina is also in the bottom quarter. The Russian will play a qualifier first up, with the winner of that match facing either Paula Badosa or Beatriz Haddad Maia in a tough second-round clash.
Qualifying first round results(prefix denotes seeding)
 Ka. Pliskova (CZE) bt A. Bogdan (ROU) 3-6, 6-2, 63; H. Dart (GBR) bt BT Jakupovic (SLO) 6-4, 6-1; BT Yastremska (UKR) bt C. Liu (USA) 6-3, 6-4;  L. Fernandez (CAN) bt J. Paolini (ITA) 6-2, 6-4;  M. Bouzkova (CZE) bt L. Siegemund (GER) 6-1, 6-1; T. Martincova (CZE) bt N. Abduraimova (UZB) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4; R. Marino (CAN) bt [SR] K. Zavatska (UKR) 6-3, 0-6, 6-3;  A. Sasnovich bt [ALT] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) 6-2, 6-4;  J. Teichmann (SUI) bt S. Cirstea (ROU) 6-4, 6-3; E. Ruse (ROU) bt M. Uchijima (JPN) 6-2, 6-0; M. Frech (POL) bt [WC] BT Parry (FRA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-0;  E. Mertens (BEL) bt [WC] M. Al-Naimi (QAT) 6-0, 6-0; L. Davis (USA) bt  A. Kalinina (UKR) 7-5, 7-6(3); V. Tomova (BUL) bt M. Zanevska (BEL) 7-5 RET; M. Brengle (USA) bt [WC] E. Yashina 6-4, 6-2;  B. Pera (USA) bt A. Kalinskaya 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(4)
Grandstand 1: D. Yastremska (UKR) vs  L. Fernandez (CAN);  Ka. Pliskova (CZE) vs H. Dart (GBR); Grandstand 2: M. Frech (POL) vs  E. Mertens (BEL);  M. Bouzkova (CZE) vs T. Martincova (CZE); Court 3:  J. Teichmann (SUI) vs E. Ruse (ROU); L. Davis (USA) vs V. Tomova (BUL); Court 4: R. Marino (CAN) vs  A. Sasnovich; M. Brengle (USA) vs  B. Pera (USA)