Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Total Open
Barbora Strycova advances to the Round of 16
Slight Déjà vu for Barbora Strycova fans. Two years ago, Strycova and Al-Nabhani met in Doha’s 1st-Round during the infamous 2017 Qatar Total Open super soaker. That year, the desert rain was relentless. By the end of Day-2, only a pair of main draw matches had been completed.
In 2017, Barbora and Fatma didn’t play their opening match until Wednesday (Day-3). And shortly after her 6-3 6-0 victory, Barbora was forced to take the court again to play her Round of 16 match with Sam Stosur. But, she and Sam completed only a single game before rain shelved play for the third day in-a-row.
2019 Brings More Rain and Another Strycova Victory
Two years later, Barbora and Fatma again found themselves at the mercy of Doha’s weather. Thankfully, they were scheduled as Monday’s nightcap, so they avoided the frustrating fits, starts, and court-changes faced by Final Round Qualifiers.
In the day’s first rain-interrupted qualifier, Ajla Tomljanovic bested Polona Hercog. The second qualifier – blasted by several downpours – saw Anna Blinkova take-out Sam Stosur in a brutal 3-set slog.
To avoid starting the week’s first Round-1 match after midnight, Tournament Supervisor Tony Cho moved the qualifier between Lin Zhu and Alison Riske to Court-1 — essentially keeping Stycova and Al-Nabhani’s pre-match routines on schedule. Within an hour, Barbora earned her second Doha victory over Fatma, allowing Oman’s top talent only two games.
Rain Wasn’t Monday’s Only Obstacle
During Monday’s rain delays, the 8-seed Ashleigh Barty withdrew from the tournament. This gave Germany’s Julia Görges a seeding, and opened up a second Lucky Loser position in the main draw.
By the end of the night, qualifying losers Alison Riske and Polona Hercog were still alive – along with qualifying winners Karolina Muchova, Ajla Tomljanovic, Anna Blinkova and Liz Zhu.
Barbora Strycova -49- (CZE) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction
Making her 6th Qatar Total Open Appearance, she is an Olympic Bronze Medalist, led the Czech Republic to a dominating SIX Fed Cup titles in eight years, and has been ranked as high as World #16. Last month in Melbourne, she reached her 5th career Grand Slam Doubles Semifinal at the Australian Open – and comes into this year’s tournament with a career-high doubles ranking of #5 in the World. In fact, 2-years-ago, she was a Doubles Semifinalist here in Doha with partner Sania Mirza, and now owns 23 WTA doubles titles in FIFTY career finals. From the Czech Republic, please welcome Barbora Strycova.
- R1 — W | [WC] Fatma al-Nabhani -429- (OMA) | Score: 6-1, 6-1
[WC] Fatma Al-Nabhani -429- (OMA) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction
In 2007, she made her Doha debut as an unranked, 15-year-old qualifying wild card. 12-years later, she now owns 10 ITF Singles titles, 13 Doubles titles – and last March in Bahrain, reached her 41st career Doubles Final. The most successful player ever from the country of Oman, she enjoyed remarkable success on this court in 2011 – earning Doubles Bronze, Team Bronze, and Individual Gold at the Arab Games Doha. Competing in her 11th Qatar Total Open – From Oman, please welcome Fatma Al-Nabhani.
- R1 — L | Barbora Strycova -49- (CZE) | Score: 1-6, 1-6