March 5, 2021

Kvitova, Muguruza to meet in Qatar Total Open final

After five days of gruelling tennis, Grand Slam stars Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and Garbine Muguruza of Spain have reached the final of the 2021 Qatar Total Open.

Fourth seed Kvitova on Friday ended the winning streak of Jessica Pegula of the United States to reach her third Qatar Total Open final. Playing a solid game from the baseline in windy conditions, Kvitova won 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hours and 22 minutes on the Centre Court.

It was Kvitova’s second successive win over Pegula after beating the plucky American at the US Open last year. Pegula, on the other hand, was the first qualifier to have reached the semifinal of the popular 32-player tournament.

For Kvitova, this will be her third final in Doha – having beaten Muguruza in 2018 before losing the Qatar Total Open final last year to Aryna Sabalenks of Belarus. The tall left-hander also reached the quarterfinals in Doha in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Earlier on Friday, wildcard entry Victoria Azarenka of Belaraus decided to pull out of her semifinal against Muguruza. Azaranka, who sought on-court treatment for her back in Thursday’s quarterfinal against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine on Thursday, is a two-time Australian Open champion.

A two-time title winner in Doha, Azarenka has played three finals in Qatar. By pulling out injured, the tall right-hander misses the chance of becoming the first player to win three Qatar Total Open trophies. The Belarusian was runner-up to Lucie Safarova in 2015.

With Azarenka’s pullout, unseeded Muguruza reaches her 14th career final and the second this year. The Spaniard was runner-up to Ashleigh Barty at the Yarra Valley Classic a month ago and will be seeking her first title since Monterrey 2019. Muguruza will be playing her second final in Doha after ending runner-up to Kvitova in Doha in 2018.