Petra Kvitova -21- (CZE) def [WC] Cagla Buyukakcay -160- (TUR) 60 63
Make that eight consecutive victories for Petra Kvitova. 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.
The 16-seed this year, for the first time in five Doha appearances, she was forced to play a 1st-Round match. Every year prior, she was ranked high enough to enjoy a 1st-Round Bye. Last year, she was absent from the draw, just two months removed from the knife attack that left career-threatening wounds to her racquet hand.
A forgiving first-round draw
Like so many others who played Fed Cup over the weekend, Petra had little time to prepare for her 1st-Round opponent. Thankfully, she was gifted a Wild Card ranked outside the top-150, Cagla Buyukakcay. Though Cagla made an historic run here in Doha 2-years-ago, upsetting defending champion Lucie Safarova to reach the 3rd-Round, Turkey’s top player had few answers for Petra’s booming ground game and punishing first serve.
Set-1 was done in 18-minutes. Cagla finally got on the board with an early break in set-2 and would earn another to reach 3-4, but Petra was too solid. Buyukakcay held only once during the entire affair, giving Kvitova the rest of the day to prepare for her 12th career meeting with Agnieszka Radwanska.
Up Next: Agnieszka Radwanska -33- (POL)
Over the years, Radwanska and Kvitova have faced each other 11 times. Petra has won six of those matches. But keep this in mind: Radwanska won their last three meetings, including a victory in the championship match of the 2015 WTA Finals Singapore. Petra’s last win came 3-years-ago in the New Haven Quarterfinals. She went on the win the tournament. Radwanska’s most recent victory came in the New Haven Semifinals 18-months-ago.
This 27-year-old 2-time Grand Slam Champion just won her 21st career WTA Singles title in St. Petersburg; and over the weekend, won both of her Fed Cup singles rubbers, lifting her country back into the World Group Semifnals for the 10th consecutive year. Now a 5-time Fed Cup Champion – Remarkably, in her inspiring return to the sport last year after a career-threatening injury, she won the title in Birmingham in just her second event back on tour. She’s 2-time Wimbledon champion, an Olympic Bronze Medalist, has been ranked as high as World #2, and has qualified for WTA Finals 5-times, winning the year-end championship in her debut back in 2011. Competing in her 5th Qatar Total Open, from the Czech Republic – Please welcome, Petra Kvitova
Two-years-ago, this 28-year-old was the talk of the tournament, as she upset defending champion Lucie Safarova to reach the 3rd-Round here in Doha for the first time. She went on to capture her first WTA Singles title in Istanbul, then spent the rest of 2016 rewriting history. At Roland Garros, she became the first Turkish woman to win a Grand Slam match; and that Summer, became the first Turkish woman ever to compete in the tennis competition at the Olympic Games. Ranked as high as #60 in the world, she’s a 14-year veteran of her country’s Fed Cup Team; and last week, earned her first career top-10 win, defeating Jelena Ostapenko during Fed Cup Group I play in Estonia. Competing in her 4th Qatar Total Open, from Turkey – Please welcome, Cagla Buyukakcay