Daniela Hantuchova is building up on her Pattaya Open title of two weeks ago, recording her second Top 10 win of the month with a 4-6 6-1 6-2 upset of world No.9 Victoria Azarenka in the first round of the Qatar Ladies Open. En route to winning the Pattaya Open, Hantuchova’s first throphy in almost four years, the Slovakian defeated third-ranked Vera Zvonareva.
Hantuchova actually followed up her title run in Thailand with a first-round loss to Anna Chakvetadze in Dubai, but today against the sixth-seeded Azarenka, despite losing the marathon 68-minute first set, Hantuchova rebounded and capitalized on Azarenka’s errors to win the next two sets with ease. Also, Hantuchova hit nine aces, compared to Azarenka’s zero. Final score: 4-6 6-1 6-2.
Svetlana Kuznetsova fell to 0-3 in Dubai finals over the weekend and now she lost in the first round of the Qatar Ladies Open to seed No.8 Shahar Peer, 6-2 6-4.
As you’re expecting from me, I’ll give special attention to Serbian players’ performance. As expected, fifth seed Jelena Jankovic defeated wildcard Fatma Al Nabhani, 6-1 6-3. The 19-year-old Al Nabhani is Oman’s only ranked player. She’s world No.426. Unfortunately, Bojana Jovanovski lost to wildcard Sania Mirza, 6-2 7-5. I was really hoping Jovanovski would manage to defeat Mirza, especially because she scored some big victories to enter the draw, over the well-known players of Kateryna Bondarenko and Urszula Radwanska.
Other players victorious on Tuesday in Doha include: Flavia Pennetta, Dominika Cibulkova, Peng Shuai, Vera Dushevina and Klara Zakopalova. (photos: Johan Rivera)