“Seven top-10 players” has been reduced to six, after Svetlana’s Kuznetsova’s withdrawl from the Qatar Total Open with an abdominal injury. The 2004 Doha doubles champion said this week: “Doha puts on an amazing event and I apologize to all the fans that I won’t be joining this year, but I look forward to coming back next year! I extend my best wishes to the organizers!”
Defending Champion Carla Suarez Navarro also withdrew from the tournament late last week with a right shoulder injury. That’s her third withdrawl this year. In Melbourne, she said the injury clearly affected her results as she fell in the second round to Sorana Cirstea.
The Qatar Tennis Federation hosted local media for the tournament press conference and draw ceremony at the Four Seasons Doha Saturday Night. Agnieszka Radwanska, Roberta Vinci and Oman’s Fatma Al Nabhani joined WTA Tournament Supervisor Tony Cho on stage for the draw.
Roberta drew a qualifier in Round-1, while Al Nabhani will face Barbora Strycova.
As the #3-seed, Radwanska enjoys a first round bye.
I always like to bring the players up one at a time to give local reporters some perspective on career accomplishments; fodder to fuel questions when the draw wraps. These are the quick introductions from this year’s draw ceremony:
Fatma Al Nabhani
SHE’S A FAN FAVORITE HERE IN DOHA. SHE OWNS 9 ITF WOMENS CIRCUIT SINGLES TITLES, 11 DOUBLES TITLES AND TWO WEEKS AGO, REACHED HER 17TH CAREER ITF SINGLES FINAL IN CAIRO. THE SINGLES GOLD MEDALIST AT THE 2011 ARAB GAMES DOHA, COMPETING IN HER 9TH QATAR TOTAL OPEN – FROM OMAN, FATMA AL NABHANI
SHE IS A FIGHTER, AND IT HAS BEEN AN ABSOLUTE JOY SEEING HER PLAY SOME OF THE BEST TENNIS OF HER CAREER OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS. IN SEPTEMBER OF 2015, SHE REACHED HER FIRST GRAND SLAM SINGLES FINAL AT THE US OPEN, AND LAST MAY REACHED A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #7 IN THE WORLD. A 2-TIME DOUBLES CHAMPION HERE IN DOHA – FROM ITALY, ROBERTA VINCI
THEY CALL HER “THE NINJA” OR “THE PROFESSOR” BECAUSE SIMPLY PUT: SHE IS A HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL. A WIMBLEDON FINALIST IN 2012…HER EXTRAORDINARY SHOT-MAKING AND ENTERTAINING PLAY HAS EARNED HER 20 CAREER SINGLES TITLES AND FIVE SEMIFINAL RUNS HERE IN DOHA. APPEARING IN HER 8TH QATAR TOTAL OPEN – FROM POLAND, AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA
While we were conducting the draw, first-round qualifying wrapped-up at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. Americans went 4-for-6 on Saturday, with Christina McHale, Cici Bellis, Madison Brengle and Lauren Davis all advancing. Davis took-out fellow American Julia Boserup, while Vania King fell to Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.
Click here for a recap: Day-1 of Qatar Total Open Qualifying