Five Grand Slam champions were in action on the first day of main-draw play at the Qatar Total Open and four of them progressed into the second round.
Playing her first match since the Australian Open final, American world No.13 Jennifer Brady fell to Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the first round of Doha in just 56 minutes. The 24th-ranked Kontaveit made only nine unforced errors to her opponent’s 25 and never faced a break point.
I really like this black-and-white photo of Brady and Kontaveit taken by Jimmie48 just moments before the match.
Kontaveit’s opponent in the second round will be three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber after the German dispatched Turkish wildcard Cagla Buyukakcay 6-4 6-2.
Jelena Ostapenko, 2016 Doha runner-up, made short work of Kiki Bertens, who was playing her first match in nearly five months. The Latvian was wearing the same outfit as Kerber, the yellow Adidas Primeblue Y-Tank and wild pine Primeblue Match Skirt.
Before Doha, the world No.11 Bertens’ last appearance was the fourth-round of the French Open in October after which she underwent Achilles tendon surgery.
Garbine Muguruza of Spain defeated Russian Veronika Kudermetova 6-2 7-6(4) to book a second-round meeting with reigning Doha champion Aryna Sabalenka, who enjoys a first-round bye.
Maria Sakkari of Greece beat Mayar Sherif of Egypt 6-0 6-3.
Late on Monday, Victoria Azarenka won the battle of former Grand Slam champions by converting her sixth match point to eliminate Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2 6-3.
Aryna Sabalenka, Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova are yet to kick off their campaign at the Qatar Total Open. On Monday they chatted with the media in Doha.
Monday’s schedule also included the final round of qualifying. Jessica Pegula, Laura Siegemund, Kristyna Pliskova and Anna Blinkova have earned their place in the main draw.
Meanwhile, bad luck continues to disrupt Amanda Anisimova’s plans this season. After the American missed the Australian Open because of a positive COVID-19 test, she’s withdrawn from the Qatar Total Open because of an ankle injury. Anisimova fell and hurt her ankle. As I understand, the accident was not related to her tennis practice. Luckily, the injury is not serious and she expects to play in Dubai.