Qatar TotalEnergies Open: Victoria Azarenka, Veronika Kudermetova enter R16

Karolina Muchova also made it to the pre-quarters

by Abbey Johnson
Qatar TotalEnergies Open: Victoria Azarenka, Veronika Kudermetova enter R16

Victoria Azarenka reached the second round of the Qatar TotalEnergies Open on Monday. The former world no. 1, who won the title in Doha for two straight years in 2012-13, needed a little over an hour to defeat fellow wildcard, Turkey’s Ipek Oz, 6-1, 6-1.

Both players had a high first-serve percentage. Oz put in 77% of her first serves while Azarenka put in 70%. But where Oz won only 32% of her first-serve points, her 33-year-old opponent won 78%. Azarenka won 50% of her second-serve points and 60% points on return on Oz’s second serve.

Azarenka did lose her serve once in the match but went on to convert six break points on the world no. 196’s serve. In the second round, Azarenka will play either Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova or seventh seed Belinda Bencic.

Qatar TotalEnergies Open: Veronika Kudermetova's outlasting effort

Eighth seed Veronika Kudermetova also moved into the second round after a lengthy tussle against Barbora Krejcikova. Kudermetova needed three hours to defeat her Czech rival, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5).

Both players won 73% of their first-serve points. Krejcikova also had more winners to her opponent – 41 to the latter’s 27. But Kudermetova had fewer unforced errors compared to the 2021 French Open champion, 18 to the latter’s 25.

The match had just two breaks of serve, one of which was traded by both players in the deciding set. Either wildcard Sofia Kenin or Liudmila Samsonova could be Kudermetova’s opponent in the next round. Karolina Muchova also won her first-round match on Monday in Doha.

The Czech defeated Italy’s Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 19 minutes. Muchova had six aces across the match and won 77% of her first-serve points to Trevisan’s 57%. She also won 70% of her second-serve points and 63% points on return on Trevisan’s second serve.

The 26-year-old saved both break points she faced while converting four break points on her opponent’s serve. For a place in the quarter-finals of the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, Karolina Muchova will now play third seed Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman received a first-round bye.

Victoria Azarenka Veronika Kudermetova Karolina Muchova