All photos by Ray Toh
Top tennis stars Simona Halep, Lucie Safarova and now Angelique Kerber of Germany have been defeated in the early days of this year’s Qatar Total Open.
The tournament kicked off earlier this week and runs through Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Dafna/West Bay.
Yesterday, World. 2 Kerber, champion of last month’s Australian Open, was defeated by the 72nd-ranked Saisai Zheng.
Disappointed, Kerber told reporters:
“I don’t know. I think it was completely not my day. That’s actually it. I was not feeling the ball. I was not finding my rhythm at all. I made too many mistakes. It was not my game.”
The day also didn’t go well for 2014 Qatar champion Halep or 2015 champion and World No. 9 Lucie Safarova, with both crashing out against lesser-ranked athletes.
According to the Guardian:
“It has been a hugely unpredictable start to the WTA season, but some big names did survive.
The third seed Agnieszka Radwanska – the highest-ranked player left – beat Kateryna Bondarenko 6-4, 6-4 while the fourth seed Garbine Muguruza thrashed Nao Hibino 6-2, 6-0.”
Fan-wise, attendance has been so-so at the tournament so far, but is expected to pick up closer to the weekend and the finals.
However, the weather is also expected to take a turn for the worse, with high winds and scattered rains forecast over the next few days.
Tickets for the tournament start at QR20 for ground passes, while finals tickets cost from QR100 to QR350. They can be bought in person (cash-only) at stalls in Landmark Mall, Lagoona Mall, City Center and the Khalifa complex, or online here.
Do you plan to go? Thoughts?