Madison Keys caused the biggest upset of the day at the Qatar Total Open on Tuesday by defeating sixth seed Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-1 in the first round. Bencic, who was coming to the event after reaching the finals of the Adelaide International on Sunday, had no answers to give to Keys’ aggressive game.
The American, who was making her way back to the circuit after a five-month injury gap, finished with 24 winners and was broken just once across the 67-minute match. Speaking with the press after her win, Keys said, “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 (on Wednesday)”. Keys’ next opponent is Maria Sakkari.
Qatar Total Open: Ons Jabeur, Laura Siegemund impress in openers
Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova in their first-round match.
The Russian came through 6-2, 6-3 in just 77 minutes. She will play another Czech woman, fourth seed Petra Kvitova in the second round. Ons Jabeur set up a second-round clash against the second-seeded Karolina Pliskova. The Tunisian needed just 68 minutes to beat Anna Blinkova of Russia, 6-2, 6-2.
2020 Australian Open semi-finalist Jessica Pegula also advanced to the second round. The American qualifier beat Qiang Wang of China 6-3, 6-1 and will next play Jelena Ostapenko. Wang’s compatriot, Saisai Zheng also lost in the opening round.
Japan’s Misaki Doi came through her match against Zheng 6-4, 6-3. Next up for Doi is top-seed Elina Svitolina. German qualifier Laura Siegemund also won her first-round match at the Qatar Total Open. Siegemund defeated Elena Rybakina 7-6(7), 7-6(5) after two hours and 29 minutes of play.
In both sets, it was Siegemund who led the Kazakh but Rybakina tried her best to effectuate a comeback. While she did level the scores in the regulation sets, in the tie-breaks, Siegemund held her own to score her first win over her opponent in their third meeting.