March 7, 2021

Kvitova claims Qatar Total Open 2021 title

Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova joined the elite list of two-time winners in Doha after blasting past Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza, the same opponent she won against for her maiden trophy in 2018, in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 in the final of the Qatar Total Open 2021 on Saturday.

The 30-year-old world No. 10 needed just 66 minutes to claim her 28th career title at the end of the one-sided match at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani attended the event.

HE President of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani crowned the winner in the presence of several dignitaries including Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) President HE Nasser Al Khelaifi and tennis fans, who attended the event which was held with all the precautionary health and safety measures put in place due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Kvitova struck 11 winners to 18 unforced errors en route to the victory, whose result also extended her head-to-head dominance of Muguruza to 5-1, including the last five meetings.

“It’s been a great run in Doha, for sure,” Kvitova said. “It’s been a whole great week. I feel at home a little bit. I love the court, I love everything, and the people are really friendly as well.”

Muguruza’s opportunities were minimal and came at the start of each set. She garnered the first breakpoints of the first set in the third game and captured Kvitova’s serve for the only time to kick off the second set.

But Muguruza was unable to build on either opening. Consecutive double faults handed the break back immediately in the second set. Overall, the former World No. 1’s performance was too riddled with mistakes as her unforced error tally mounted to 27. This was particularly evident on her backhand wing, usually Muguruza’s more potent weapon, which repeatedly dipped just long or wide.

The No. 4 seed Kvitova would go from strength to strength after successfully navigating the danger zone. The two-time Wimbledon champion’s strategy in gusty conditions was more effective, clubbing the ball through the middle and handcuffing Muguruza with depth and pace rather than going for lines. Kvitova was also able to up her focus when she needed to, saving six out of seven breakpoints.

As the finishing line moved into view, Kvitova hit a pair of breathtaking winners after seemingly being out of the point to reel off the last six games of the match.

“Today, I think Petra played very well from the baseline, and it was hard to try to make her move or try to do much,” Muguruza said. “It was very windy, as well. I mean, it wasn’t my day, I guess.”

Both players were seeking to snap an uncharacteristic title drought. Kvitova had not won a tournament since Stuttgart 2019 and had lost three of her past four finals – including in Doha last year to Aryna Sabalenka. With Saturday’s win, Kvitova improved her career record in finals to 28-10.

Muguruza, meanwhile, is enjoying one of the most consistent stretches of her career. The two-time major champion has won at least two matches in 11 of her past 12 tournaments, dating back to the start

of 2020. This week marked her third final in that span and second of this season already following February’s Yarra Valley Classic.

The loss means Muguruza is still seeking her first title since Monterrey 2019. The last time she was victorious at 500/Premier level or higher was Cincinnati 2017.