Qatar Total Open, Doha
Women’s Semifinal: [CR3] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) vs. [CR11] Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
After a promising start to her season, Radwanska suffered a demoralizing loss at the hands of Suarez Navarro 2-6, 0-6. Despite leading their head-to-head 3:1, Radwanska was no match for Suarez Navarro today. Suarez Navarro was focused and executed her strokes with precision. It was the best performance I have ever seen from Suarez Navarro. I have never doubted her talent or her determination; however, she has run out of steam on several occasions because she also competes regularly in doubles. Today she was simply brilliant against Radwanska, a player who often manages to find a way to wiggle out of difficult matches. Radwanska will have to wait for a sixth opportunity to get to her first final in Doha; meanwhile Suarez Navarro will contest her tenth final and hopes to claim her second singles title/trophy tomorrow.
Latvian Teenager Into Second Career Final
Women’s Semifinal: [CR27] Andrea Petkovic (GER) vs. [CR88] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
This was my first time seeing Ostapenko play and when I tuned in she was in danger of losing the set. Petkovic had a commanding lead and it looked as if she would win the first set easily. I did not realize that Petkovic was hurt and I certainly did not appreciate the fierce competitive nature of the young Latvian. She fought back, albeit against an injured opponent, from 2-5 down and won the first set 7-5. She then broke Petkovic’s serve in the first game of the second set before Petkovic retired due to injury. Ostapenko will get a second chance to claim her first singles title/trophy tomorrow. Interestingly, she crushed Suarez Navarro in their one previous encounter. I will be curious to see if she can repeat that feat as Suarez Navarro looks really sharp this tournament.