Draw Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Total Open
Special thanks to Sorana Cirstea, Ons Jabeur, Karolina Muchova and Marketa Vondrouseva for being a part of 2020’s Qatar Total Open draw ceremony. Held in the Qatar Tennis Federation Media Center at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex — WTA Supervisor Martina Lutkova conducted the proceedings in front of media and distinguished guests.
To start, Martina anchored the top-2 seeds Ashleigh Barty (World #1) and Simona Halep (2014 Champion and 2019 Finalist). The 3-seed and 2017 Champion Karolina Pliskova dropped into Barty’s half, while this year’s 4th-seed Belinda Bencic landed in Halep’s half.
5th-seeded Elina Svitolina is in Bencic’s Quarter, while the 6-seed Sofia Kenin fell into Barty’s Quarter. Finally, 7-seed Kiki Bertens landed in Halep’s Quarter, while 8th-seed and 2018 Champion Petra Kvitova is expected to face Karolina Pliskova when the field is reduced to eight.
All receive a 1st-Round Bye and won’t play until Monday or Tuesday.
Ashleigh Barty’s Promising Quarter
By all appearances, the draw favors this year’s top-seed and the World #1. This year’s Qatar Total Open is a Premier-5 event, so Barty needs five victories to capture her 9th career and 2nd title of 2020. She’ll open her campaign with either a Qualifier or Yaroslava Shvedova – who hasn’t played a Tour level match since the 2017 French Open. That said, red-hot Elena Rybakina could be waiting in the Round of 16. Yikes. With 4 Finals under her belt since week-1 of the new season, expect the 20-year-old Kazakh to put up better numbers than she did in their 3rd-Round clash in Melbourne.
The truth is, Ashleigh and Karolina’s half is wide open. Seven of this year’s 8 qualifiers landed in the top portion of the draw. Good news as well for Kenin, Muguruza, Riske, Martic and Kvitova.
The bottom half is stacked with top-50 talent under 25. Next generation names already making their mark on tour – like Anisimova, Swiatek, Vondrousova and Sakkari. Blended with the lengthy resumes of Kuznetsova, Hsieh, Linette, Zvonareva and Görges – the bottom of the draw is an enticing cocktail generously spiked with 80-proof intrigue.
If seeding and rankings mean anything…
…then the Barty-Kenin and Pliskova-Kvitova Quarterfinals should be show stoppers. But this is tennis. Anything can happen. Just ask Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep. All three fell to Elise Mertens on this court last year, lifting the Belgian to her 5th (and last) WTA Singles title.
Participants in the 2020 Qatar Total Open Draw Ceremony
Sorana Cirstea -70- (ROU) | Announcer Introduction
Back for her 6th Qatar Total Open, she reached the Round of 16 here in Doha 2-years-ago. She’s a Grand Slam Quarterfinalist, has been ranked as high as World #21, and was a Premier-5 Finalist at the 2013 Rogers Cup in Toronto. A Wild Card in this year’s draw – From Romania, welcome back Sorana Cirstea.
Ons Jabeur -45- (TUN) | Announcer Introduction
8-years-ago, she made her first Doha appearance as a 17-year-old Wild Card ranked outside the top 12-hundred. Today, she’s a top-50 player, and the first Arab woman in tennis history to reach the Quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. Welcome back, the pride of Tunisia – Ons Jabeur.
Karolina Muchova -27- (CZE) | Announcer Introduction
Last year, she won her first two WTA Premier-level matches and reached the Quarterfinals in her Doha debut. During the season, she went on to win her maiden title, was a 2-time Finalist, and climbed to career-high year-end ranking of World #21. This year: Doha marks her first Premier-5 event on Tour. From the Czech Republic, welcome back Karolina Muchova.
Marketa Vondrousova -17- (CZE) | Announcer Introduction
She reached Round-2 in her first career Premier-5 event here in Doha 2-years-ago. This year, she returns as the World #17…AND as a Grand Slam Finalist. Last season, she reached 2 WTA Tour Finals, defeated World #2 Simona Halep twice – and at Roland Garros, became the first teenage French Open Finalist in 12-years. From the Czech Republic, welcome back Marketa Vondrousova.
Tariq Darwish Zainal
Secretary General of the Qatar Tennis Federation and General Coordinator of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open
Vice President of Human Resources, Communication, and Corporate Social Responsibility Total Qatar.
Saad Al Mohannadi
Qatar Tennis Federation Executive Director and Qatar Total Open Tournament Director.
Former World #25 on the ATP Tour, Qatar Tennis Federation Board Member, and Qatar ExxonMobil Open Tournament Director.