World No.1 Iga Swiatek of Poland will be looking to make history when she chases an unprecedented third title in a row at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open which begins today in Doha.
The 2022 and 2023 winner of the prestigious event, returns to the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex and is all set to feature a star-studded line-up.
The tournament’s 22nd edition also marks the thrilling start of the 2024 Hologic WTA 1000 season.
Swiatek’s dominance at this event has previously sparked a remarkable 37-match win streak, underscoring her status as a formidable force on the WTA tour. Last year, she clinched the title by beating Jessica Pegula with a commanding 6-3, 6-0 victory in the final. Apart from Swiatek, only Russia’s Anastasia Myskina (2003, 2004), Russia’s Maria Sharapova (2005, 2008), Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (2012, 2013) and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic (2018, 2021) have won the Doha title more than once.
Swiatek, who takes on the winner of the Round of 64 clash between the American Stephens and Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, in her first match.
The 22-year-old champion said she feels amazing to be back in Qatar.
“To be back in Qatar? Amazing. I love this place and you know it’s peaceful. But on the other hand, when one tournament starts it’s there’s a lot of energy in the stadium, so I really like it,” the Polish star told WTA Social media on the sidelines of a photoshoot in Doha.
Apart from the World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka and No.4 Jessica Pegula who are absent this time, the draw boasts 18 of the top 20 players in the world. Former World No.1 Naomi Osaka makes a notable comeback to Doha for the first time since 2018 and will be looking to avenge her Australian Open defeat against World No.21, Caroline Garcia in the first round.
Jelena Ostapenko, coming off her second title win of the season, could face early hurdles in the form of Beatriz Haddad Maia, Emma Raducanu, and Victoria Azarenka. Azarenka stands out as the only player to have beaten Ostapenko this year, promising potential high-stakes early encounters.
The tournament’s second quarter draws attention to Tunisia’s No.4 seed Ons Jabeur and Greece’s No.7 seed Maria Sakkari, positioning them for potential high-profile matchups against players like Barbora Krejcikova.
The bottom half of the draw is no less competitive, featuring No.2 seed, US Open champion Gauff, Elena Rybakina, Zheng Qinwen, and Marketa Vondrousova. Each of these athletes enters the tournament on the back of strong recent performances, setting the stage for what promises to be a tournament filled with dramatic showdowns and potential upsets, culminating in the title showdown on February 17.