Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Total Open
Asleigh Barty’s Qatar Total Open debut
Getting World #1 Ashleigh Barty to play in Doha hasn’t been easy. In fact, for years, the Qatar Total Open has been a challenge for many of the sport’s top players.
Why? Fed Cup. Because Doha regularly fell on the heels of Fed Cup’s World Group Quarterterfinals, top talents were flug far and wide across the planet. Forced to hop late-night flights on Sunday – unless they had a 1st-Round Bye, players were forced to take the court on Monday or Tuesday with little rest, severe jet-lag and zero preparation.
Last year, on the day before the tournament started, Ashleigh was eight time-zones back in Asheville, North Carolina. She clinched the Tie over Team USA at about 10:00pm Doha-time. Rather than scramble through several connections to fly 12 or more hours to make it in time for her 1st-Round match, Ash withdrew from the tournament “due to injury.”
Laura Siegemund faced a similar scenario in 2017. At the time, she was 13 times-zones behind, playing a Fed Cup Quarterfinal in Hawaii. Somehow, after a retirement-shortened Doubles rubber on Sunday evening, Laura managed to get from Maui – to Honolulu – to Doha in around 23-hours. That said, had rain not devastated 2017’s schedule, Laura never would have arrived in time for her 1st-Round match. She fell 6-0 6-1 to Monica Puig when they finally played on Day-3.
2017 was crazy – only two matches were completed over the first 2-days of the tournament
Thankfully, Fed Cup is no longer a problem with the new Fed Cup Finals format. Even the Qualifiers were held earlier this year, easing the burden. Today, only those who made deep-runs in Dubai – like Elena Rybakina – scrambled to arrive in time for their opening round matches.
Ashleigh Barty advances to Round-2
In set-1, Laura Siegemund proved a challenge for the World #1. However Barty struck first-blood following the second changeover, then held the rest of the way. In the second set, both struggled on serve. With two holds and four breaks, Ashleigh earned her first career victory in the Arabian Gulf, dispatching the 73rd ranked German in 73-minutes.
Head to Head: First meeting between these two players
 Ashleigh Barty -01- (AUS) | Round-2 Announcer Introduction
She is the reigning Roland Garros and WTA Finals Champion – and last month, enjoyed another outstanding Australian Summer – capturing her 8th WTA Singles title in Auckland, and reaching her 2nd Grand Slam Singles Semifinal at the Australian Open. Last year, she was extraordinary – she won 4 Singles titles, her first Major at the French Open, reached the US Open Doubles Final, lifted Australia to the Fed Cup Final for the first time in 26-years, and for the first time – finished the season as the year-end World #1. Here in Doha for the first time — From Australia, please welcome the #1 Player in the World, Ashleigh Barty.
- R2 — W | [Q] Laura Siegemund -73- (GER) | Score: 6-3, 6-2
- R1 — BYE
Announcer Corner | Doha: Ashleigh Barty
Before tonight, Ashleigh had never played in either Doha or Dubai. She was scheduled to make her Arabian Gulf debut last week in Dubai – but withdrew two weeks prior, still dealing with pain in her right foot after the Semifinal run in Melbourne. Since claiming the World #1 title for the first time after capturing the Birmingham title last June, she has now spent 32-weeks combined as the sport’s top-ranked talent.
[Q] Laura Siegemund -73- (GER) | Round-2 Announcer Introduction
She’s already won three matches this week here in Doha, without dropping a set. After a pair of qualifying victories on Friday and Saturday – She defeated Yaroslava Shvedova on Sunday to reach Round-2 of the Qatar Total Open for the first time. She owns 2 WTA Singles titles, 12 ITF titles, has been ranked as high as World #27, and is a Grand Slam Champion. In 2016, she teamed with Mate Pavic to win her first Major title in Mixed Doubles at the US Open. An Olympic Quarterfinalist at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, she’s also a proud member of her country’s Fed Cup Team – and earlier this month, lifted Germany to the Fed Cup Finals this April in Budapest. Competing in her 2nd Qatar Total Open, from Germany – please welcome Laura Siegemund.
- R2 — L |  Ashleigh Barty -01- (AUS) | Score: 3-6, 2-6
- R1 — W | Yaroslava Shvedova -PR- (KAZ) | Score: 6-3, 6-2 | RECAP
- Q2 — W | Magdalena French -165- (POL) | Score: 7-5, 7-5 | RECAP
- Q1 — W | [WC] Mabaraka Al-Naimi -NR- (QAT) | Score: 6-0, 6-0 | RECAP
Announcer Corner | Doha: Laura Siegemund
Laura is still on the hunt for her first main draw Doha victory. In 2017, she fell to Monica Puig in Round-1, after rain delayed their opening match until the start of Day-3.