Lucie Safarova, who had to withdraw from the Australian Open this year, had been battling with bacterial infection for some time now. She is now training in Doha and has confirmed she will be back to kick off her season there after being out for more than three months.
Start of Bacterial Infection
The Czech has been suffering from the infection ever since after the U.S. Open last year where she lost in the first round. She took time off to rest and recuperate and had to miss the Asian swing of the season. Safarova did take part in WTA Linz before the WTA finals in Singapore. After which she was in the Czech team for the Fed Cup finals but did not compete. Czech Republic ended up as the eventual winners.
Road to Recovery in 2016
Safarova also had to withdraw from the Hopman Cup where she was due to represent the Czech Republic with Jiri Vesely. Karolina Pliskova instead took her place. The persistent infection continued to affect her health and she had no choice but to withdraw from the Australian Open with a heavy heart. And with it followed her withdrawal from Dubai as well.
She did however had already started her training in Doha and seemed to be on her way to full recovery. Her recent update on her Facebook page confirmed that she is ready and will compete in Qatar Total Open due to start in the next couple of weeks. It will be Safarova's first tournament in 2016 where she is the defending champion.
Rest of Doha Field
Most of the top players are scheduled to play in the tournament except for Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic. It will be a strong field of players despite the withdrawal of Maria Sharapova who is struggling with her left forearm injury.