WTA Doha 2020 Final Review: Super Sabalenka d. Kvitova to win first title of the year

The 2020 Qatar Total Open concluded on Saturday to bring a close to the Middle East swing. Aryna Sabalenka beat Petra Kvitova to win the title in Doha. Read on for a review of the final. I’ve enjoyed the Dubai-Doha double this year with a handful of memorable moments and quality matches. I’m hoping to be back on the blog midway through Indian Wells to cover the first Premier Mandatory tournament of 2020 😊.

Top stories πŸ“š

1. Sabalenka wins Doha

Aryna Sabalenka produced a sensational display to beat Petra Kvitova and claim the Doha title, 6-3 6-3. Sabalenka was unstoppable behind her serve in the first set as she landed 81% (!) of first serves in. The Belarusian player was lethal on the first strike after the serve. Kvitova was constantly on the back foot which is just so rare to see. Sabalenka’s first serve percentage only dropped a tad in the second set and while Kvitova had her chances, notably five break points in an eight deuce game, Sabalenka got out of the game with back-to-back aces.

Sabalenka secured the crucial break in the second set at 3-3 and then powered home to the victory. Kvitova took an off-court medical time-out in the second set and didn’t seem at her sharpest, but take nothing away from Sabalenka who played a great match.

2. Thoughts on Sabalenka and Kvitova

Sabalenka’s year has been a bit up and down till now but she has emerged through this Middle East swing . I thought she was superb in Adelaide but then fell at the first hurdle into Melbourne to Carla SuΓ‘rez Navarro which was a surprising loss. Sabalenka is looking back to her sharp, energised and dynamic best, and she’s a real asset to the tour in this form.

I was looking at the Slam records and couldn’t believe Sabalenka has only once made it to the second week of a Slam just once before. Even with recency bias, surely that statistic will change before the end of the year? Kvitova is having a very consistent year and has reached at least the quarter-finals in all four of her tournaments played in 2020. No titles yet but surely that will change soon.

3. The Barty-Kvitova semi-final πŸ”₯

I loved the semi-final between Petra Kvitova and Ash Barty on Friday where Kvitova snapped a four match losing streak to beat the world number one, 6-4 2-6 6-4. There were shades of Peak Petra in the first set as she battered winners behind her serve. Barty got stuck in in the second set and increasingly used her slice, but Kvitova managed to stay on top in the deciding set with some huge ball striking. The pair played the best point of the match with Kvitova serving for it at *5-4 in the decider πŸ‘β¬‡.

H&H πŸ€—

Petra is such a class act. Nice moment after the final.

Press conference πŸ“°


Follow Moo’s Tennis Blog on Twitter andΒ Facebook. Feature photo by Omar Boraby Photography.

13 thoughts on “WTA Doha 2020 Final Review: Super Sabalenka d. Kvitova to win first title of the year

  1. Sabalenka sure has been impressive this week. She looks a lot fitter and quicker round the court. Plus there has been a bit more construction to her points rather than just going for broke. My reservations with her are that I’m not sure her game translates to slow courts…


      • Still waiting on her to really establish herself on the tour. In complete agreement, it’s the mindset. A little bit more experience on tour might just do the trick.


  2. Well done Aryna and I agree it’s encouraging to see how well her game has come together so early in her career.

    A shout out too to Heather (Watson) who’s just won her fourth title, in Acapulco, and her first for four years (her last one was also in Mexico, in Monterrey). She’s set to return to the top 50 on Monday as a result.


  3. How’s everyone else coping with the lockdown / shutdown? I’ve mostly put tennis to one side recently but have watched the highlights of a handful of matches I’ve enjoyed in the past, such as Ana Ivanovic’s final against Maria Sharapova for the Brisbane title in 2015 and Domi Cibulkova’s match against Aga Radwanska at Eastbourne in 2016.


    • Hi Graham, i’m doing OK thanks. Sad about Wimbledon and Eastbourne being cancelled last week but it was inevitable and obviously the right decision. I’m missing the tennis so will dip into the vaults soon and start watching some old matches. Hope you are well! πŸ™‚


    • Sadly, I think this season is done. Earlier on, I had hopes for the US Open and YEC tournament. Unfortunately, the USA is now seemingly entering its peak infection cycle, I doubt players would be in good form to compete come August/September. Maybe the WTA could have brainstormed a super expanded YEC to save some ranking issues but that is also looking precarious. The YEC is held in China, and even though they might be coming out of the eye storm, I’m not sure the stigma of being the first hot spot of the pandemic will sit well with some players so soon. Plus, the emergence of more asymptomatic cases now is some real food for thought.

      This is going to be an administrative nightmare for the ITF as a whole. I’m sure those top 10 ranking predictions fans made at the start of the year are probably in tatters. The lock down has been Ok for me, but certainly wishing those fighting, caring for and dealing directly with the infection all the best πŸ™‚ .


    • I’m all good, hope you are all well too.

      Tennis wise, I’m devastated for Novak Djokovic. This might be the reason that he never catches Rafa and Roger for # of Slams. And if not the rankings being frozen, he would be close to topping Federer for most weeks at #1. Then obviously there is the Olympics…


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