- The 2021 Qatar Open starts Monday, March 1st, from Doha, Qatar
- 2020 champion Aryna Sabalenka and last year’s finalist Petra Kvitova are just two of the Top 10 players competing
- Take a look below for a preview and who’s expected to go deep in this tournament
The WTA moves from Australia to Qatar after a few tournaments with exception tennis. Let’s hope the level continues as players continue to get back playing like they did pre-COVID.
2020 champion Sabalenka is the favorite heading into the tournament, but there are quite a few players participating that have the ability to win the tournament this year.
2021 Qatar Open Odds
Odds taken Feb. 28th from DraftKings
Sablenka’s draw is a tough one, and it’s not going to be easy for the Belarusian to repeat as champion.
She’ll most likely open her tournament up against Garbine Muguruza, who has played impressive tennis in 2021 so far.
Aside from Muguruza, Sablenka’s section also includes Maria Sakkari, Madison Keys, and Belinda Bencic. All three players have the ability to win any match they go into.
When Sablenka won here in 2020, it was her third title in just six months, securing her sixth career title. She dominated Kvitova, winning 6-3, 6-3, in just over an hour. The Belarusian recorded seven aces, 21 winner and only 15 unforced errors, she was playing pretty perfect tennis.
I don’t think that’s going to be the case this year, especially with who she might be playing early on, but she’ll be one to keep and eye on.
Kvitova will look to avenge her finals lost last year as she enters the tournament with +900 odds to win. Awarded the third seed, she’s most likely going to open her tournament up against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, assuming she wins her opening match against a qualifier.
Her start to 2020 has been less than ideal. She struggled in Melbourne, and her Australia Open run was cut short in the second round, where she lost to Sorana Cirstea.
The two time Grand Slam winner clearly wasn’t herself in Australia, looking even a little hurt, but she wasn’t about to make any excuses. How she comes out of the gate this tournament, will be a better indication of what we can expect from her.
Who to Watch
Ons Jabeur and Jennifer Brady are two players to watch this tournament. Jabeur a little less obvious than Brady, who enters the tournament with +700 odds.
Jabeur made it to the quarterfinals last year at this tournament, where she upset both Jennifer Brady and Karolina Pliskova. She could possibly play Pliskova again in the second round of the tournament this year too.
Her recent tennis play hasn’t been overwhelming better than it’s ever been, but she’s been consistent. A few upsets could be there for her this year again.
Seventh seed, Brady will open her tournament against Anett Kontaveit tomorrow morning in the round of 32. She has started off the year very strong. She recorded a semifinal appearance at the Grampians Trophy tournament, as well as most recently a finals appearance at the Australian Open.
Since tennis returned in August, Jennifer Brady has:
???? Won her first @WTA title
⚪️ Reached semifinals of @usopen
???? Reached finals of @australianopen.
And now a new career-high ranking for @jennifurbrady95. pic.twitter.com/sREIQa2MHu
— USTA (@usta) February 22, 2021
2021 could be a really big breakout year for the American. With the way she’s been playing since the tennis world returned, she might be the one to beat this year in Qatar.
The Pick: Brady (+700)