12 Feb 2018 - 2:23
Qatar Total Open: Tournament talking points
Nine of Top 10 players in the world are competing in this year’s main draw, including the entire Top 5 (No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, No.2 Slmona Halep, No.3 Ellna Svitolina, No.4 Garbiﬁe Muguruza and No.5 Karolina Pliskova).
In addition to defending champion Karolina Pliskova, four other former winners are competing this week (Halep (2014), Lucie Safarova (2015), Maria Sharapova (2008), Carla Suarez Navarro (2016).
Sharapova is one of four wildcards, the others are Fatma Al Nabhanl, Cagla Buyukakcay and O Jabeur.
Top seed Wozniacki’s WTA World No.1 ranking could come under threat from Halep this week. To regain the No.1 spot, Halep will need to at least reach the quarter-ﬁnals and ﬁnish one round further than the Dane.
Wozniacki and Agnleszka Radwanska have both won 16 matches from their eight previous visits to the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex.
No player has won more than these two in the tournament’s 15-year history.
Wozniacki will become only the fourth player in history to pass $30 million in prize money should she reach the semi-ﬁnals - Alizé Cornet will contest her 700th career match when she steps on court for the first round.
Dominika Cibulkova andJulia Goerges could also reach this milestone in Doha
One To Watch- Elise Mertens has made a ﬂying start to the season, defending her title at Hobart and then reaching a maiden Grand Slam semi final, at the Australian Open. Seeded for the first time at a Premier event this week, the 22-year-old starts her challenge against recent Taipei City champion Timea Babos.
The best result by a wildcard at Doha was Victoria Azarenka’s runner-up ﬁnish in 2015.