Round 1. Day 1. Anna Blinkova

Announcer Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018. Anna Blinkova

Tennis Host. Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018
[Q] Anna Blinkova -153- (RUS) def Elena Vesnina -23- (RUS) 61 63

19-year-old Anna Blinkova kept the qualifier win-streak alive Monday, earning the biggest win of her career over World #23 Elena Vesnina. On Saturday, the young Russian upset the #15 qualifying seed Jana Fett 61 61. Then Sunday, she took-out the #7 qualifying seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 62 42 (ret). Like Cici Bellis, that time on court was invaluable for her main draw debut, where she scored her first victory over a top-25 opponent.

Blinkova wasted no time

Anna broke immediately in game-2, then again right after the second changeover. In a blink, she was up a set against an opponent 12-years her senior, and who gave her trouble in their two previous matches last year.

Their first match went the distance in the 1st-Round at Wimbledon. Elena Vesnina won again 2-months later in their 1st-Round match at the US Open.

Blinkova steamrolls to biggest win of her career

In the second, Anna broke again to open the set. Elena’s biggest weapon was her box of tissues. The 2016 Quarterfinalist struggled with sinus issues from ball-up, and resorted to a medical time-out on set-2’s first changeover. The pills didn’t help. Blinkova earned the win with her fourth break of the match, securing a spot in Round-2.

Up Next: [11] Kristina Mladenovic

With three wins under her belt, Anna Blinkova finally earned a day off. For the first time, she’ll face the 11-seed Kristina Mladenovic on Wednesday. Mladenovic, now the World #13, carries momentum into the week after her stellar Fed Cup performance over the weekend. With her pair of singles wins and a deciding doubles victory, she single-handedly lifted France back into the Fed Cup World Group Semifinals this April.

Elena Vesnina. Remembering 2016

Vesnina won’t lose sleep over the loss. It’s hard to play your best tennis when you can’t breathe. Her 2016 run to the Quarterfinals is still a favorite memory. With her Mom in Doha that week, she played through qualifying, and as the World #118, upset Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki and Caroline Garcia.

She and partner Ekaterina Makarova still have a chance to make it a fruitful week in doubles.

Anna Blinkova

At just 19-years-old, she owns 2 ITF Women’s Circuit Singles titles; and last February, reached her 4th career Final. She started 2017 by making her Grand Slam main draw debut at the Australian Open, where she played through qualifying to upset World #32 Monica Niculescu to reach the 2nd-Round. She’d go on qualify for both Wimbledon and the US Open, and climbed to a career-high ranking of World #114. She also made her Fed Cup debut last year, where she helped lift Russia over Chinese Taipei in the World Group II Quarterfinals. After a pair of wins over the weekend, she has qualified for Doha’s main draw in her very first Qatar Total Open. From Russia – Please welcome, Anna Blinkova

Elena Vesnina

At 31-years-old, this 4-time Grand Slam Champion is an Olympic Gold Medalist; and won the biggest singles title of her career last March, earning her 10th and 11th career top-10 wins, defeating World #2 Angelique Kerber and World #8 Svetlana Kuznetsova en-route to capturing the title at Indian Wells. A 2-time Fed Cup Champion, 2-years-ago she played through qualifying here in Doha, defeating Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki to reach the Quarterfinals. She owns 3 WTA Singles titles, 18 Doubles titles, has appeared in an astonishing 42 career Doubles finals; and with her run to the Doubles Championship last month at the Australian Open, is now a 14-time Grand Slam Finalist. Competing in her 7th Qatar Total Open, from Russia – Please welcome World #23, Elena Vesnina