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ATP Qatar Tennis Open 2021

Alexandoy

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Right after the Australian Open that was followed by the Adelaide Open now comes the tennis tournament in Qatar that officially starts on March 1, 2021. The top 3 seeds for the men’s singles are Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer and Andrey Rublev. In the ladies singles the top 3 seeds are Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka. The defending champion is Sabalenka so I guess she should be seeded higher than #3.
 

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In the round of 32, the first seeded player to win is Victoria Azarenka. She defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2 sets 6-2, 6-3. On the losing side is #5 seeded Kiki Bertens who lost to Jelena Ostapenko 0-6, 2-6. Another casualty is #7 seed Jennifer Brady losing to Anette Kontaveit 1-6, 2-6.
 

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The tournament is getting exciting with the entry of qualifiers German Laura Siegemund and American Jessica Pegula who is considered a giant killer. However, Siegemund is paired with #8 seed Victoria Azarenka in the round of 16 so it will be a tough task to enter the quarterfinals. Pegula will face another qualifier Jelena Ostapenko and Pegula is favored to be in the quarterfinals.
 

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The casualty in the round of 16 is seed #3 Aryna Sabalenka who is the defending champion. She lost to 2-6, 7-6, 3-6 to Garbine Muguruza. For the qualifiers, Laura Siegemund lost to #8 seed Victoria Azarenka while Jessica Pegula squeezed in by defeating Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 7-5. Pegula will face #2 seed Karolina Pliskova while Muguruza will meet unseeded Maria Sakkari in the quarterfinals.
 

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The quarterfinals ended with a bang. Top seed Elina Svitolina lost to #8 seed Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-4. This is the 4th career loss of Svitolina to Azarenka. Seed #2 Karolina Pliskova succumbed to giant killer American Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-1. Pegula will meet #4 seed Petra Kvitova in the semi-finals while Azarenka will square off with Garbine Muguruza. This would be an exciting semi-finals with the matches seemingly even in the odds.
 

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Meeting in the finals are unseeded Garbine Muguruza and seed #4 Petra Kvitova. The win of Muguruza over #8 seed Victoria Azarenka was by a walkover. Azarenka has an injury so she opted not to play anymore. In the other semis match Kvitova defeated Jessica Pegula in a thrilling 2 sets of 6-4, 6-4. Kvitova is favored to win the Qatar Open trophy but Muguruza cannot be discounted. Personally I think Muguruza will be the champion.
 

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The Qatar Open culminated in an exciting finals match between 4th seed Petra Kvitova and unseeded Garbine Muguruza. However the result of 6-2, 6-1 in favor of eventual champion Petra Kvitova was unexpected. It seemed that Muguruza had lost steam early in the match that she had given way to Kvitova’s style of game. But I think it is the strong serves of Kvitova that really defeated Muguruza.
 

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It is now the time for the men’s singles in the Qatar Open 2021. The top seeds are doing great in the round of 16. Seed #1 Dominic Thiem had a hard time in beating Aslan Karatsev 6-7, 6-3, 6-2. In the same fashion is seed #2 Roger Federer who edged Dan Evans 7-6, 3-6, 7-5. Only #3 seed Andrei Rublev had an easy trip by breezing past Richard Gasquet by a walkover.
 

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The quarterfinals of the Qatar Open saw the downfall of the seeded players. First to tumble down was #1 seed Dominic Thiem. He succumbed to Roberto Bautista Agut in 3 sets 6-7, 6-2, 4-6. Crowd favorite and 2nd seed Roger Federer bowed to unseeded Nikoloz Basilashvili also in 3 sets 6-3, 1-6, 5-7. Seed #4 Denis Shapovalov joined the bandwagon when he lost to Taylor Fritz 7-5, 3-6, 5-7. Only Andrey Rublev who is the 3rd seed remains to handle the flag. He won in the quarterfinals with another walkout by Marton Fucsovics. He will face Agut in the semi-finals.
 

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Oh well, it is seed #5 Roberto Bautista Agut who will face unseeded Nikoloz Basilashvili
in the finals of the Qatar Open 2021 for the men’s singles. It is sad that the popular and seeded players are gone – Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev – but that’s the name of the game. It simply means there is nothing definite with the numbers, the seeding is just an estimate based on the player’s recent performance in the court.
 

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The Qatar Open 2021 ended with the final match between Roberto Agut and Nikoloz Basilashvili that had a surprising result. After a close first set at 7-6 in favor of Basilashvili the 2nd set was all Basilashivili that closed at 6-1. The favorites were really in a string of bad luck maybe but that’s part of the game. As the saying goes, win some and lose some. The next big tournament is the Miami Open and the Dubai Open as well.
 
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