Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Total Open
Garbiñe Muguruza advances to the Quarterfinals
Last month, Garbiñe reached her 4th career Grand Slam Final at the Australian Open. It was her first Major Final as an unseeded player. Behind six victories, including three over top-10 talents (Svitolina, Bertens and Halep), she leaped from World #32 to World #16. Not a bad fortnight, considering Garbiñe lost the first set of the tournament (0-6) to American Shelby Rogers.
In Dubai, the tests kept coming. When Kiki Bertens withdrew following her title-run in St. Petersburg, Muguruza learned she had to face former World #1 Kim Clijsters in the opening round. Obviously, Kim was the main-attraction, making her second return from retirement. Unruffled by the hype, Garbiñe earned a focused straight-sets win, then played through to the Quarterfinals.
Former Doha Finalist on a familiar court
Muguruza knows how to win in Qatar. She’s conscious of Doha’s varied conditions. In 2018, she came back from a set-down to defeat Caroline Garcia in the Quarterfinals, then benefited from a walkover in the Semi’s (Simona Halep toe-injury). Despite her own upper-thigh problems, in the championship match Garbiñe won the first set, before falling to Petra Kvitova. It was Muguruza’s third Premier-5 Final — and before last month’s tremendous run in Melbourne, remained her best result for nearly two-years.
This year, after a tough opener with Daria Kasatkina — Garbiñe has earned a pair of straight-set triumphs over Tomljanovic and Yastremska, earning a shot at World #1 Ashleigh Barty in the Quarters.
Barty — who’s here in Doha for the first time — advanced to the final-8 today after the hottest talent on Tour Elena Rybakina withdrew (left thigh injury). Rybakina’s run of four consecutive WTA Finals is astounding, and clearly exhausting. Elena needed 2-hours 21-minutes and a deciding-set tiebreak to knock-out Alison Van Uytvanck yesterday.
Head to Head: Fourth meeting between these two players
 Garbiñe Muguruza -16- (ESP) | Round of 16 Announcer Introduction
A Finalist here in Doha two years ago, she is a 2-time Grand Slam Champion, owns 7 WTA Singles titles, and in 2017 – spent 4-weeks as the sport’s World #1. During the off-season, she challenged herself in ways very few dare to venture – she summited the roof of Africa, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. What she found at the peak…is between her and the mountain. But it clearly lit a fire, and the results speak for themselves. Last month at the Australian Open, she reached her 4th Grand Slam Final, and has leaped nearly 20-spots in the rankings to World #16. Back for her 5th Qatar Total Open, she’s defeated qualifier Daria Kasatkina and Ajla Tomljanovic to reach tonight’s 3rd-Round match. From Spain, please welcome 2018 Finalist, Garbiñe Muguruza.
- R3 — W | Dayana Yastremska -25- (UKR) | Score: 6-2, 6-4
- R2 — W | Ajla Tomljanovic -54- (AUS) | Score: 6-1, 6-2 | RECAP
- R1 — W | [Q] Daria Kasatkina -71- (RUS) | Score: 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 | RECAP
Announcer Corner | Doha: Garbiñe Muguruza
Before her 2018 run to the Final, Garbiñe Muguruza started working with 2004 Doha Doubles Finalist Conchita Martinez. By all appearances, it was a player coach relationship that was working. However, the two parted ways later that Summer, during a disappointing hard-court swing in the States. Then, 2019 proved to be a rough patch for the former World #1. By November, Garbiñe dropped outside the top-30.
So, during the off-season – Muguruza and Martinez decided to give the relationship another go. Clearly it paid off. With a Semifinal run in Shenzhen, another Major Final, and confident ground strokes setting-up consistency at the net – Muguruza is back in form. To get another shot at the Falcon would be another huge boost to an already successful 2020.
Dayana Yastremska -25- (UKR) | Round of 16 Announcer Introduction
At just 19-years-old, she already owns 3 WTA Singles titles. Yesterday, over on Court-2, she upset World #5 and Australian Open Champion Sofia Kenin – and is through to the Round of 16 in her Qatar Total Open debut. A punishing shot-maker, she simply rips the felt off the ball. Last September in Wuhan, she defeated World #2 Karolina Pliskova to reach her first Premier-5 Quarterfinal. Last month in Adelaide, she reached her 4th WTA Singles Final, and jumped to a career-high ranking of World #21. Here on center court in Doha for the first time – From Ukraine, please welcome Dayana Yastremska.
- R3 — L |  Garbiñe Muguruza -16- (ESP) | Score: 2-6, 4-6 00
- R2 — W |  Sofia Kenin -05- (USA) | Score: 6-3, 7-6(4) | RECAP
- R1 — W | [Q] Kirsten Flipkens -78- (BEL) | Score: 6-2, 6-4 | RECAP
Announcer Corner | Doha debut: Dayana Yastremska
Dayana Yastremska owns three WTA Singles titles. She won her first in Hong Kong at the tail-end of 2018. Four months later, she lifted the trophy at the Thailand Open. Then last May, days following her 19th birthday, Dayana won her first clay-court title in Strasbourg. Three titles in the short span of 7-months (including an off-season). That’s beyond impressive.
That said, the Hua Hin title will always be Dayana’s most memorable triumph. You see, two weeks earlier during the Australian Open, her Mom suffered a debilitating eye injury when a champagne bottle exploded unexpectedly. The incident rocked Dayana’s world. Suddenly, she and Marina were in need — and the compassionate support was immediate. Fellow Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and her agent Stefan Gurov arranged for the surgery. Tournament director Craig Tiley covered all the expenses.
Taken care of, Marina insisted her daughter fly-on to Hua Hin for her next event. Reluctantly, Dayana agreed. There, she kept reminding herself that while her mother lay in a hospital bed, all she needed to do was stand on a court and hit tennis balls. Remarkably, she reached the championship match without dropping a set (including a Quarterfinal upset of World #15 Garbiñe Muguruza). In the Final, down 2-5 in set-3 versus Ajla Tomljanovic, somehow Yastremska fought her way back into the match, and won the title in a deciding-set tiebreak.
Yastremska immediately flew back to Australia to be by her mother’s side – and there, at just 18-years-old, determined her true calling. Speaking with doctors, she heard about dozens of kids waiting for simple procedures to regain their sight — simple procedures that their families couldn’t afford. Today, the Dayana Yastemska Foundation helps fund those procedures back home in Ukraine.