Round 1. Day 1. Agnieszka Radwanska

Sports Emcee Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018. Round-1. Day-1. Agnieszka Radwanska

Sports Emcee. Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018 / Photo: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
Agnieszka Radwanska -33- (POL) def Mona Barthel -75- (GER) 36 63 75

A 7-5 deciding-set victory for Agnieszka Radwanska is certainly not the former World #2’s preferred 1st-Round result. Radwanska is a 5-time Semifinalist in Doha. This is the hardest she’s ever had to battle to reach the 2nd-Round. Now the World #33, this is also the first time in 6-years she didn’t benefit from a 1st-Round Bye.

A match that lived up to Mona and Agnieszka’s history

Radwanksa and Barthel had played twice before. Agnieszka won both of those matches, but each went the distance, including a deciding-set tie-break in the 1st-Round of the 2012 Rogers Cup in Montreal.

When Mona took the first set, it appeared her drought against Poland’s most dynamic performer was over. But Radwanska endured, creatively crafting defensive winners to edge Barthel in sets two and three.

Up Next: [16] Petra Kvitova -21- (CZE)

Petra Kvitova is on an eight match win streak. Since falling to Andrea Petkovic in the 1st-Round of the Australian Open, she earned her 21st career title in St. Petersburg, and won a pair of Fed Cup rubbers on Saturday and Sunday.

Over the years, Radwanska and Kvitova have faced each other 11 times. Petra has won six of those matches. However, Agnieszka Radwanska has won their last three meetings, including a victory in the championship match of the 2015 WTA Finals Singapore. Radwanska’s most recent win came 18-months-ago in the New Haven Semifinals.

Frustrating 2018 for Mona Barthel

This has been a frustrating start to the season for Mona Barthel, especially after her inspiring comeback last year (see her pre-match bio below). She’s only won a single match, defeating Monica Niculescu in the opening round of the Australian Open. She’s lost to Varvara Lepchenko twice, Anett Kontaveit, Alize Cornet, and now an Agnieszka Radwanska ranked outside the top-30.

Agnieszka Radwanska

This 28-year-old is a human highlight reel. Known as “The Ninja” or “Professor,” her amazing reflexes and inventive play have earned her 20 career WTA Singles titles, and a remarkable five Semifinal runs here in Doha. A Wimbledon Finalist in 2012, she’s a 3-time Grand Slam Semifinalist, 3-time Olympian, and has been ranked as high as #2 in the World. The year-end WTA Finals Champion in 2015, she’s competed in an outstanding 28 career Singles finals, and was voted the WTA’s fan favorite for six consecutive years. Appearing in her 9th Qatar Total Open, from Poland – Please welcome 5-time Doha Semifinalist, Agnieszka Radwanksa

Mona Barthel

This 27-year-old made an inspiring return to the top-50 on the WTA Tour last year. She reached the Round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time at the Australian Open; then in May, as a qualifier, won her 4th career Singles title, lifting the trophy in Prague. It was her first title in nearly 3-years, and with the victory, she became one of only five qualifiers to win a title in 2017. She started the year ranked outside the top-150, and finished the season as the World #48. With five career wins over top-10 opponents, in 2013 she earned one of those top-10 wins here in Doha, upsetting World #6 Angelique Kerber to reach the Round of 16. Competing in her 6th Qatar Total Open, from Germany – Please welcome, Mona Barthel