Lucie Safarova advanced to the second round of Doha with a straight sets win over Sam Stosur, 7-6(3) 6-4 in one hour and 44 minutes in the last match on Monday. After losing to Sam in a tight three setter in Sydney earlier this year, Lucie turned the tables to record her 10th victory over the Aussie. Of course, there were moments when it looked like this would be a really uncomfortable evening for Lucie and her fans. After a tight first set that went mostly with serve, Lucie broke at 5-5 and served for it at *6-5. In a lengthy game with eight deuces, there were four set points for Lucie and five break points for Sam. In the end, it was Sam who took the break point. Lucie should have converted on her third set point as she launched a short, makeable ball long. After losing that game and knowing her record in tiebreaks this year, I feared the worst. However Lucie played a very solid tiebreak as she closed it out with two winners.
The second set was much like the first with Lucie going up a break, but unable to consolidate it. Serving at *4-5, Sam played a poor game as Lucie sealed the win in straight sets and booked her place in the second round where she will play Ekaterina Makarova. After Dubai where she won three matches, I really feel Lucie is finding her feet on tour this year. Positioned in the top half of the draw, she will come up against tough opponents but ones that she can beat if she plays well. A preview for Safarova v Makarova will be up on Moo’s Tennis Blog tomorrow.