All 16 second round matches will be played in Doha on Tuesday… it’s going to be a feast of WTA action! I’m currently crying at the prospect of having to work through it all but on a positive note, Lucie’s match is later, third on, so I *should* get home in time to watch. In case you missed it, I wrote about Lucie’s comeback HERE. Two other previews are also up on Moo’s Tennis Blog for Kerber-Zheng and Petkovic-Gasparyan HERE. This post covers Wozniacki against Gavrilova and Bouchard versus Allertova.
1. Caroline Wozniacki v Daria Gavrilova (Doha, R2)
It wasn’t easy but Caroline Wozniacki snapped a three match losing streak to win her first match since the first week of the season, defeating Ana Konjuh in three sets, 4-6 6-3 7-5. Wozniacki needed NINE match points to finish of an all-firing, Konjuh. Some of the winners that the 18-year-old came up with down match point were sensational; Konjuh saved six of the match points with winners, four of which came on the fearsome forehand… the last of them was absolutely bludgeoned! It’s a funky shot and takes time to wind up but Konjuh has such raw power. She’s another talented player to keep an eye on but with the nature of her game, she will be erratic and have good/bad days. It was yet another example of Wozniacki struggling to close out a set/match but on this occasion, she got over the finish line.
Wozniacki progresses to a tantalising second rounder with Daria Gavrilova; after a great start down under, the Aussie suffered a 1-6 0-6 loss to Ana Ivanovic in Dubai last week. It was important to rebound in Doha and she MORE than did that in her first round match, demolishing the recent Kaohsiung finalist, Misaki Doi, 6-1 6-1 in just 58 minutes.
Head-to-head record: We’ve seen a lot of them already this year but this will be yet another first career match-up.
Final thoughts: This could be fun… messy, but fun! I am still wondering whether Wozniacki is back to full fitness as she still has the taping on her knee and her movement hasn’t looked that sharp. She’s lost that winning feeling of late but getting the victory over Konjuh, as drawn out as it may have been, could be a confidence boost. Gavrilova is a great competitor although that didn’t come across last week! I do think Wozniacki will turn it around but it’s going to take time. However, i’ve come round on this one and fancy Gavrilova to secure the upset…
2. Eugenie Bouchard v Denisa Allertova (Doha, R2)
Eugenie Bouchard was on the verge of exiting Doha, down match point in her first round match to Anastasija Sevastova. She got somewhat fortuitous as Sevastova’s baseline ball was called out (late) but on the challenge, it was revealed to be in. The call came late and Bouchard had already hit her shot into the net. yet the point was ordered to be replayed. Bouchard went on to save another match point before toughing out the third set tiebreak to win, 5-7 6-3 7-6(4). It wasn’t a particularly pretty performance from Bouchard but she showed tremendous spirit, something that was lacking for pretty much the entirety of 2015. Next up is Denisa Allertova who upset Elina Svitolina on Monday, 7-5 6-4. Allertova failed to serve out the first set at *5-3 and then saved two break points at *5-5 *15-40. This proved to be the crucial game of the match with Allertova holding, then breaking in the next game to win the first set. She came from a break down in the second set to win it in straights.
Head-to-head record: It’s another first career match-up!
Final thoughts: I really like Allertova and she has a huge game. It’s not all under control just yet but the win over Svitolina, on a slowish court, was a superb result. I think this will go the distance but I am leaning towards Bouchard. Coming through a match saving match points is always big, as Angelique Kerber will tell you… i’d go for Bouchard to battle out another win but don’t completely write off Allertova, she’s good 🙂