March 2, 2021

Talented Jabeur, Keys and Doi reach Round of 16 at Qatar Total Open

Qualifiers Laura Siegemund of Germany and Jessica Pegula of the United States on Tuesday produced quality tennis to post wins over experienced players at the Qatar Total Open while Tunisian star Ons Jabeur also impressed with a gutsy show on day two of the tournament.

Siegemund beat Elena Rybakina, wrapping up their match with a 7-6, 7-6 scoreline in 2 hours and 29 minutes. Also on Tuesday, World Number 44 Pegula proved too good for Wang Qiang of China. Pegula won 6-2, 6-1 and at times exhibited the form that took her to the Australian Open quarterfinals last month. The match lasted 75 minutes.

Jabuer, a crowd favourite in Doha where she reached the quarterfinals last year, on Monday beat Russia’s Anna Blinkova 6-2, 6-2. It was third successive win for Jabuer over Blinkova. Jabuer wrapped up the match in 1 hour and 8 minutes. The Tunisian will now play Doha No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Jabuer beat Pliskova in the third round here last year.

“Last year I was looking for a title win because I always wanted to win here in Doha but it didn’t happen. Now I feel like I have the level to compete in quarters and semifinals. I know I can go as far as I can in this tournament,” Jabuer said on Tuesday.

“Maybe there’s a little bit more pressure (on me). Maybe I am also more confident on the court. I feel like I can handle stress much better especially on tough moments. So honestly, whatever happens tomorrow (on Wednesday), I feel really good about myself. I feel I have given it all in the practice and I’m doing all I can to improve,” Jabuer added.

In a clash on Centre Court on Tuesday, Madison Keys of the United States eased past Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. The 26-year-old American won 6-4, 6-1 in 68 minutes. It was Keys’ second win over Bencic in three matches.

Keys said on Tuesday: “I’m really happy with how I came out and played today. I’m a little bit surprised with myself but hoping to keep the momentum going tomorrow. I think she’s probably not used to the courts and I had a couple of days here. It worked out pretty well for me tonight. I think I played a really good match.”

In the last match on Centre Court, Misaki Doi of Japana beat Saisai Zheng of China 6-4, 6-2. The 29-year-old Japanese was on the court for 1 hours and 28 minutes. Doi said: “I am happy with my performance. I have already played three matches so I guess it was an advantage for me.”