Halep suffers earliest exit in 5 years at Doha, Svitolina falls to Martincova

(Tennis news) Simona Halep had to return without a win at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, Doha. Halep had lost in the opening round in 2016 to Elena Vesnina which was her only first round exit at the event, the Romanian was playing for the 7th year after making her debut in 2012. The former world number 1 had reached the final in 2019 and won the title in 2014 but this time she was beaten by Caroline Garcia.


The pair was meeting for the 9th time on tour, Garcia only had a single victory against Halep which came at Beijing in 2014. Halep’s form and her record should have taken her through but the 28 year old saved 9 breakpoints while converting 2 of her own to take the lead in both the sets. The world number 76 had a much more aggressive forehand and at the same time used dropshots which landed perfectly at the other end of the court. Garcia defeated Halep 6-4, 6-3.


Elina Svitolina was the next high profile player to make an early exit at Doha. Svitolina fell in the first round for the third time in 8 appearances, although it took 3 hours for Tereza Martincova to avenge her defeat at the Indian Wells last year. The Ukrainian had the edge in the shorter rallies in the opening set and in the tiebreak played breathtaking tennis to take the lead.


In the second set, Martincova’s backhand was no match for her opponent as it did the trick during breakpoints. While the 10th seed finished points at the net and the baseline for the world number 42, it was the baseline that helped her take the second set. In the decider, the 16 tour winner took a 5-3 lead and began playing more aggressively. In the 9th game, after an excellent defensive battle the Czech player hit a forehand pass shot which gave her the break and it was the turning point of the match.


In the tiebreak, the former world number 40 maintained her good record at tie breaks by changing the direction of the ball during the rallies. Martincova did not allow Svitolina to rest for one moment as the rallies were becoming more physical for the world number 15 and it took a toll on her in the end. Svitolina saved 12 of the 22 breakpoints she faced as Martincova saved 1 out of 10, both players could not do justice to their service but were successful while returning serve. Martincova defeated Svitolina 6-7(2-7), 7-5, 7-6(7-5).


Also read: Jelena Ostapenko overwhelms Veronika Kudermetova in Dubai final


Share The Article:

Leave A Reply