I only bring out my favourite Petra pic for special occasions and this is a worthy moment. I have felt so moved by the tennis this weekend that I wanted to write about it. The 2018 Qatar Total Open came to a conclusion with my favourite match of the week. Petra Kvitova made it a *lucky* 13th win in a row with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Garbiñe Muguruza in Sunday’s final.
The quality of hitting in the final two sets was simply superb. Condition were tricky towards the end of the match with the wind (you could see the ball moving all over the place!) but both seemed to handle it well. I think both players come out of the week very positively. For Muguruza, she seems to be set on her way in 2018 after a slow start in Australia. Hopefully the knee, which was strapped up during the third set, is not a major issue. For Kvitova, she’s soaring high and playing tremendous tennis. She managed to hit her way through fatigue having looked on her last legs for much of the week. There’s not much anyone can do when Petra hits the tennis ball like this. A key factor in the final was her ability to swat away break points. Kvitova was not broken during the final two sets, saving a total of seven break points.
I just love watching Kvitova hit the ball when she is feeling confident. It’s so clean and pure, and I don’t think anyone tops it on tour. It was a week of incredible achievements as Kvitova will crack the top ten again on Monday. She is now 29-10 in finals for her career (via Tennis Abstract). She beat four top ten players in Doha and came from a set down to win in three matches. The run saw her pass Buyukakcay, Radwanska, Svitolina, Goerges, Wozniacki and Muguruza – I don’t think there will be many better runs all year.
It’s been a solid week in Doha with many decent matches. Kvitova-Muguruza was probably my favourite match. Kvitova-Wozniacki and Wozniacki-Kerber both had their moments. Muguruza-Garcia delivered high quality tennis in the third set. I also enjoyed the drama of Radwanska-Barthel from Monday.
In all my time of following the WTA tour, I cannot remember a better start to the year. So many of the top players are in form and playing well, and there has already been a long list of memorable matches. I could do a top 20 list from the first two months and it would be legit. We’ve still got the likes of Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka (🤞) to potentially return soon. This is shaping up to be a banner year for women’s tennis. I can’t wait to see where we go from here. Dubai main draw on Monday starts with a cracking line-up…