The first round of the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, which is hosted by the Qatar Tennis Federation on the courts of the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, began yesterday with the participation of the world top ranked players.
Czech Katerina Siniakova (22) qualified for the second round by defeating Croatian Donna Vekic (28th seed) 7-5, 6-1.
Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk (30) also advanced to the second round, after defeating US Caroline Dolehide (43) 6-3, 7-5.
Belgian Greet Minnen (54) achieved an easy victory over the German Maria Tatjana (49) 6-1, 6-1, and Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova (19) defeated Bulgaria’s Victoriya Tomova (64) 7-6, 6-3.
Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko (37) qualified for the second round after a hard-fought win over Turkish Zeynep Sonmez (184) 7-5, 6-3.
Rybakina cruises past Kasatkina to claim Abu Dhabi titleTop seed Elena Rybakina powered to a 6-1 6-4 win over Russian Daria Kasatkina in the final of the Abu Dhabi Open yesterday to lift her second trophy of the season and seventh overall.
The 2022 Wimbledon champion began the contest on Stadium Court in typically dominant fashion to grab an early break, but seventh seed Kasatkina struck back with one of her own only to fall behind again in blustery conditions.
Rybakina regained composure to go 5-1 up on the back of big serving as Kasatkina struggled for consistency and the 24-year-old Brisbane champion wrapped up the opening set in 25 minutes when her opponent sent a forehand wide.
The pair had come into the contest having split their four meetings – all on hardcourts – and Adelaide runner-up Kasatkina showed plenty of fight to pull two breaks back in the next set with relentless baseline hitting and stunning winners.
Level at 4-4, Rybakina turned the heat up to break the 26-year-old Kasatkina with a crosscourt scorcher and the Moscow-born Kazakh returned after a brief rain delay to secure the victory on serve.
Both players will now head to Doha for the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, with Kasatkina set to face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in her opener today while Rybakina has a bye into the second round.
“A tough week, especially the last matches, and tomorrow is already a match in Doha (for Kasatkina),” Rybakina said. “Hopefully we both recover and do well there and maybe play final there. “I want to thank all the fans who came to support us. It’s been an amazing atmosphere and especially to see the flags from Kazakhstan it really means a lot.”* * Reuters
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