At the Qatar Total Open, in an all-German first-round encounter between fresh first-time WTA titlist Angelique Kerber and ninth seed Sabine Lisicki, the newer German force took charge, overcame stomach problems, came back from a set down and upset her friend Lisicki 4-6 6-4 6-1. Kerber believes they both played a great match, while Lisicki finds she hadn’t committed as many unforced errors in the past ten tournaments she played. Just to mention, the Paris title rose Kerber from No.27 to No.22 in the rankings this week.
Seed No.15 Daniela Hantuchova, who just like Kerber won a WTA title over the weekend, is out of the Qatar Total Open in Doha, having wasted a one-set lead and then falling in the third-set tiebreaker to Simona Halep 3-6 6-2 7-6(4). Romania’s Halep overcame a leg injury, and with an aggressive baseline game and good tiebreak clinched one of the biggest victories of her career.
Later in the day, Flavia Pennetta took out eleventh seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 2-6 7-5. Pennetta won two points more than Cibulkova and took the victory.
Defending champion at the tournament is Vera Zvonareva, who will after a first-round bye play Monica Niculescu in the second round. Last week at Pattaya, Zvonareva retired from her quarterfinal in the third set against Sorana Cirstea with a left hip injury. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)