2019 Qatar Total Open Predictions
Sorry that I wasn’t unable to write predictions for Day 1 & 2 🙂
Day 6 – Doha Predictions
Halep d. Mertens in two sets – It seems really obvious that Halep’s probably going to win the title. She leads the head to head, she does everything a little better than Mertens, and her motivation to continue winning is so strong right now, and a great comeback win over Svitolina would have definitely given her confidence going forward. This is Mertens’ best week on the tour this season but I doubt she will be able to break down the Halep game in her biggest final of her career. It’s the WTA we’re talking about though so you never know!
Day 5 – Doha Predictions
Halep d. Svitolina in three sets – Svitolina leads the head to head 4-1 and has won their last three meetings, with Halep’s only win coming on clay. I’ve watched both of Svitolina’s matches in Doha this week and it seems like she’s trying to play a bit more aggressively but gets stuck too much behind the baseline. Halep seems really motivated to continue winning and I think her strong mindset will be able to get her the victory.
Kerber d. Mertens in three sets – The Kerber-Mertens Hopman Cup 2018 battle was really high quality but it’s very unlikely that they will be able to replicate this today! Kerber was so flat in her two matches against Anett Kontaveit and Barbora Strycova so reaching the semifinals here is really a fortuitous run for the German. Mertens’ route to this stage has been slightly more convincing, and a good straight-sets win over Bertens would definitely boost her confidence after a mediocre Australian swing. I think this will be tight; wouldn’t be surprised if Mertens comes through, but edging towards Kerber’s fighting spirit and veteran qualities to come through in the end.
Day 4 – Doha Predictions
Svitolina d. Muchova in two sets – Muchova’s second top ten opponent after losing 3 & 2 to Pliskova in Brisbane. Muchova has a bag full of tricks, but it likely won’t be enough to outlast Svitolina’s consistency and solid serving.
Kerber d. Strycova in two sets – Kerber leads the head to head 7-1 with Strycova’s only win coming on clay. Both aren’t playing their best tennis at the moment but Strycova’s form is more worse – she has only won three straight matches three times since the beginning of 2018. Kerber should be way too solid for the win.
Halep d. Goerges in two sets – Halep leads the head to head 2-1 but their last meeting was in 2016 and since then Goerges has really improved. I still don’t think Goerges will be able to get the win as she hasn’t been able to reach the heights of consistency she did in 2018 so far this season.
Bertens d. Mertens in three sets – Another battle between the -ertens as the two played a thrilling three-setter in Brisbane this year. It’s a nice match-up between two very solid baseliners. Don’t think Mertens’ confidence is there right now and Bertens is just so good at edging out wins when not playing at her best.
Day 3 – Doha Predictions
Ostapenko d. Svitolina in three sets – Ostapenko leads the head to head 2-0, and hasn’t dropped a set to Svitolina so far. It’s obvious that this match will completely be on Ostapenko’s racket and it all depends on whether she can maintain a high level throughout the entire match. Since the second half of last year Svitolina has looked so vulnerable against big-hitters and even though her form has been way better than Ostapenko, she still seems to be playing with less positive intent than before. Ostapenko hasn’t been up for the fight in 2019 but two tough three-set battles in Fed Cup and against Mihaela Buzarnescu here yesterday should have boosted Ostapenko’s confidence a little. Edging towards the Latvian to come through in a scrappy battle.
Ka.Pliskova d. Mertens in two sets – A first time match-up! I think this has potential to be an intriguing one but Pliskova’s been playing with aggressive intent this year, and her harder groundstrokes should be able to help her hit through Mertens. Mertens has seemed to lose a little of that spark that was there in the first half of last year.
Halep d. Tsurenko in two sets – Halep leads the head to head 5-0, and should be brimming with confidence after leading Romania to an upset win over the Czechs in Fed Cup. This is a perfect match-up for Halep and I expect her to continue her dominance against Tsurenko.
Kerber d. Kontaveit in three sets – As mentioned in my thankfully still half-up-to-date tournament preview, Kerber hasn’t been able to get a set off Kontaveit in two previous encounters. It’s a typical hard-hitter vs counter-puncher match-up and it mostly depends on whether Kontaveit can find the court more often than not. I feel it’s actually a match-up where Kerber can thrive in because she redirects pace so well and can exploit the one-dimensional play of Kontaveit with her weapons, but Kontaveit has always managed to find top form in their matches. Also, she’s playing her first match since the Australian Open so I expect some rust. Kontaveit’s been so-so to start 2019 and she laboured through her first round match against Lin Zhu so just slightly edging towards Kerber to just be a tad more solid and come through his one.
Hsieh d. Muchova in two sets – A battle between two smart players! I think Muchova will need time to find her range against Hsieh’s wacky play. Hsieh in 2.
Bertens d. Suarez Navarro in three sets – Suarez Navarro leads the head to head 2-0, but they haven’t met since 2014 and obviously Bertens has come a long way since then. Bertens has become one of the most reliable players on the tour and I think she’ll eventually overpower and outhit the Spaniard, even if CSN has always performed well in Doha.
Strycova d. Blinkova in three sets – A first time match-up. Strycova’s been struggling in singles of late and just lacks a weapon in her game. Blinkova’s powerful though erratic game definitely could cause problems for Strycova. Still, heading towards the veteran to scrap though this one.
Goerges d. Riske in two sets – All depends on Goerges on this one. If she finds her targets more often than not she wins, if not Riske definitely is capable of capitalising on Goerges’ downs. Giving the benefit of the doubt to Goerges here.