Qatar Total Open: Victoria Azarenka, Garbine Muguruza reach 2R

Anett Kontaveit stunned seventh seed and the 2021 Australian Open finalist in the first round of the Qatar Total Open in Doha on Monday. The Estonian collected a one-sided 6-1, 6-2 victory over the American.

In the second round, Kontaveit will play former finalist Angelique Kerber. The German defeated the Turkish wildcard Cagla Buyukakcay 6-4, 6-2.

Jelena Ostapenko and Garbine Muguruza were two other former finalists who advanced into the second round.

The Latvian, who reached the final here in 2016, upset the fifth-seeded Kiki Bertens – who was returning from injury after almost five months – 6-0, 6-2. In the second round, Ostapenko awaits either Qiang Wang or qualifier Jessica Pegula.

Qatar Total Open: Victoria Azarenka subdues old rival

Muguruza overcame Veronika Kudermetova in her opening-round match. The Spaniard, whose only final in the event came in 2018, won in straight sets 6-2, 7-6(4). The former world no. 1 has now booked a second-round meeting against third seed Aryna Sabalenka. Sabalenka who, like the other three top-seeds, has received a first-round bye in Qatar is also the defending champion this week.

Speaking about her upcoming match-up, Muguruza said, “I think [Sabalenka is] playing great. Last year and this year I saw she’s winning titles and playing good tennis. I’m excited to face these top players.”

Maria Sakkari defeated Egyptian wildcard Mayar Sherif 6-0, 6-3 in their first-round match. Sakkari now awaits either Madison Keys or sixth seed Belinda Bencic in the next round.

In the evening match at the Qatar Total Open, two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka defeated two-time former finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-3. This was the first meeting between the two in almost five years, since their last face-off in the 2016 Miami Open final. The eighth-seeded Belarusian needed six match points and was even broken while serving for the match in the eighth game of the second set. In the second round, Azarenka could play either Elena Rybakina or qualifier Laura Siegemund.

Jelena Ostapenko and Maria Sakkari were among the other winners of the day

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