Round 1. Rybakina def Cirstea

Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Total Open

Doha Announcer Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2020. Round-1. Elena Rybakina Match Recap

Elena Rybakina advances to Round-2

Nearly unbeatable. Two simple words that accurately reflect 20-year-old Elena Rybakina’s 2020. She started the year with a Finalist run in Shenzen. A week later, she won the title in Hobart. At the Australian Open, she won her first two career main draw matches at a Major. In her next event, she reached the Final in St. Petersburg. And on Saturday night, Elena reached her 4th Final of the year in Dubai – falling to champion Simona Halep in a deciding set tiebreak. Absolutely tremendous.

No need to hit the practice court when you can’t lose

While Simona withdrew from the Qatar Total Open, Elena honored her commitment to the tournament. After Saturday night’s Final in Dubai, Elena took the 2-flight hop to Doha.

You see, despite being just 45 minutes apart by air – because of the U.A.E.’s participation in Saudi Arabia’s blockade of Qatar, players have to connect through Jordan, Oman or Kuwait to get to Doha. It’s not fun.

Elena arrived just in time to get a single night’s rest, before dispatching Wild Card Sorana Cirstea in 3-sets. Rybakina needed set-1 to acclimate. By the second, she was in full control, earning her first Doha victory in just over an hour and 40-minutes.


Head to Head: First meeting between these two players

Doha Announcer Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2020. Round-2. Head to Head Rybakina Cirstea

[14] Elena Rybakina -17- (KAZ) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction

At just 20-years-old, what she has accomplished over the last 7-months…is astounding. Back in July, ranked outside the top-100 – she captured her first WTA Singles title in Bucharest. And since then, she simply can’t stop winning. In September, she reached her second Final in Nanchang — and in the first two months of the new year, has reached the Final in all four WTA Events she’s entered. Last week in Dubai, she upset World #7 and Australian Open Champion Sofia Kenin, World #3 Karolina Pliskova, and had match point in a thrilling, deciding-set tiebreak Final with World #2 Simona Halep. Making her Qatar Total Open debut – From Kazakhstan, please welcome the new World #17, Elena Rybakina.

  • R1 — W | [WC] Sorana Cirstea -72- (ROU) | Score: 3-6, 6-3, 6-1

[WC] Sorana Cirstea -72- (ROU) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction

A Wild Card in the this year’s draw, she is a Grand Slam Quarterfinalist, owns 1 WTA Singles title, 8 ITF titles, and has been ranked as high as World #21. In 2013, she reached her first Premier-5 Final in Toronto – earning top-10 wins over Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Li Na en-route to the championship match. She’s a 2-time Olympian, a 14-year veteran of Romania’s Fed Cup Team – and last season, reached her 4th WTA Singles Final in Tashkent, and won her 5th WTA Doubles title in Lugano. Competing in her 6th Qatar Total Open, she reached the Round of 16 here in Doha two-years-ago – From Romania, please welcome Sorana Cirstea.

  • R1 — L | [14] Elena Rybakina -17- (KAZ) | Score: 6-3, 3-6, 1-6
Announcer Corner | Doha: Sorana Cirstea

Sorana made her Doha debut in 2012, and for three consecutive seasons fell in the 2nd-Round to top-10 talent. After a 3-year Doha break, she returned in 2018 and reached the Round of 16 behind wins over Maria Sakkari -60- (GRE) and Elise Mertens -20- (BEL). Garbiñe Muguruza allowed Sorana only 4-games in their Round-3 clash, and carried that momentum into the 2018 Final. Last year, Sorana entered the Qatar Total Open as a 92nd-ranked Qualifier and fell to last-second alternate, doubles specialist Shuko Aoyama 64 06 36.