Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Total Open
Grönefeld and Schuurs advance to the Doubles Final
The #4-seeds in this year’s draw, Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Demi Schuurs have reached the championship match without dropping a set. As a result, tomorrow the first-time tandem will face 2016 Doha Champions Latisha and Hao-ching Chan.
Tonight, Anna-Lena and Demi’s only major obstacle came in the second set. Each dropped serve in back-to-back service games, but responded in both occasions with breaks of their own. In the end, they overpowered Ons Jabeur’s serve twice, and capped the victory by breaking Alison Riske for a third time.
Bonus tennis for Ons Jabeur and Alison Riske
Truth be told, the Jabeur-Riske run was unexpected. Neither had planned to play doubles this week, but when Karolina Pliskova withdrew Wednesday, twin sister Kristyna was left without a partner. While Kristyna accepted the Singles Lucky Loser vacancy left behind by her sister, Riske and Jabeur paired-up to take a stab at the doubles field.
At the time (Wednesday), Jabeur had already been eliminated from Singles by Carla Suarez Navarro. Meanwhile, Alison Riske had just fallen to Julia Görges in the Round of 16. As a Lucky Loser, Alison lost to Lin Zhu in the Final Round of Qualifying, but defeated fellow Lucky Loser Polona Hercog in Round-1 on Tuesday.
Remarkably, in their first-ever match together, Alison and Ons took-down the top-seeds Nicole Melichar and Kvete Peschke (2-time Doha Champion, 3-time Finalist). Then yesterday, they only allowed Mihaela Buzarnescu and Alicja Rosolska 3-games.
A Premier Semifinal run as a debut tandem? That’s a solid 3-days.
A sign of things to come for Tunisia’s top talent?
The two doubles wins are Ons Jabeur’s first career Doha victories. She’s been a perennial Wild Card here since her 17-year-old debut in 2012. In her seven Singles appearances, she’s never won a match – main draw or qualifying. Hopefully in the years to come, these two wins will snap her frustrating Doha Singles drought.
 Anna-Lena Grönefeld -33- (GER) / Demi Schuurs -07- (NED) | Semifinal Announcer Introduction
The 4-seeds at this year’s Qatar Total Open, this tandem has joined forces for the first time this week in Doha.
A 2-time Grand Slam Mixed Doubles Champion, she owns 16 WTA Doubles titles, is a 37-time Finalist on Tour, is a Fed Cup Finalist, and tonight – is competing in the Doha Semifinals for the 4th time. From Germany, please welcome, Anna-Lena Grönefeld.
Her partner won SIX of her 10 career WTA Doubles titles last year alone. She reached a remarkable NINE Doubles Finals in 2018, cracked the WTA’s top-10 for the first time, and made her Doubles debut at the WTA Finals. Back in Doha with a career-high ranking of World #7, please welcome Demi Schuurs.
- SF — W | [Alt] Ons Jabeur -NR- (TUN) / Alison Riske -82- (USA) | Score: 6-2, 7-5
- QF — W | Abigail Spears -31- (USA) / Zhaoxuan Yang -28- (CHN) | Score: 6-4, 6-2
- R1 — W | Miyu Kato -47- (JPN) / Makoto Ninomiya -23- (JPN) | Score: 6-4, 6-3
[Alt] Ons Jabeur -NR- (TUN) / Alison Riske -82- (USA) | Semifinal Announcer Introduction
This first-time tandem entered the doubles draw as last-second alternates, and in Round-1 Tuesday night, upset this year’s top-seeds Nicole Melichar and 2-time Doha Champion Kvete Peschke in a thrilling match tie-break.
She is the highest-ranked Arab player on the WTA Tour, and is back in Doha with a career high Singles ranking of World #56. Last year, she finished the season with a dream-run to the Kremlin Cup Singles Final, winning 7 consecutive matches – including victories over World #8 Sloane Stephens and World #11 Anastasija Sevastova. From Tunisia – please welcome, Ons Jabeur.
Her partner is here in Doha for the first time, and reached the Round of 16 in this year’s Singles Draw. She’s a Fed Cup Champion, 2-time Fed Cup Finalist, and last month – reached the Doubles Semifinals of a Major for the first time at the Australian Open. Competing tonight in her 5th Tour-level Doubles Semifinal – From the United States, please welcome Alison Riske.
- SF — L |  Anna-Lena Grönefeld -33- (GER) / Demi Schuurs -07- (NED) | Score: 2-6, 5-7
- QF — W | Mihaela Buzarnescu -27- (ROU) / Alicja Rosolska -25- (POL) | Score: 6-1, 6-2
- R1 — W |  Nicole Melichar -13- (USA) / Kvete Peschke -11- (CZE) | Score: 2-6, 6-3 11-9