Just one week after their last encounter, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Julia Goerges stepped on the Centre Court of Doha to face each other again in the first round. This time, 12th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova snatched the win by playing a very solid match.
Goerges starts off well but Kuznetsova fights back
The German always starts her matches well and that was the case today too. After holding her serve to love with some powerful serves, she broke the serve of her opponent to take an early lead. But the Russian did not want to experience the same demolition as last week and started to get into the fight, breaking Goerges back straight away. After a strong hold, Kuznetsova leveled up the match to 2-2. From that moment, it was all about the Russian. She indeed learned from her mistakes and developed a brilliant game on court today. She took advantage of the mistakes of Goerges early in the shots to break for a second time. With a break of serve in the pocket, the 30-year-old only had to keep serving well to snatch the first set six games to three after 41 minutes.
One lethal break makes the difference and Kuznetsova is through to the next round
After a bathroom break for Goerges, she hoped to come back with solutions but it was not the case. The same Goerges showed up and Kuznetsova drew from her resources to increase her level even more. After five straight holds of serve, the German cracked under pressure and was broken to love at 2-3 down to allow her opponent to take a massive lead in the match. After that lethal break, Kuznetsova was not disturbed once on her serve until 5-3, when she had to serve the match out. The last game of the encounter was indeed electrifying. Goerges hit some tremendous forehand winners to get break points but also to save match points, which made things harder for the Russian. But after nine long minutes and on the fourth time of asking, Kuznetsova eventually found a way to close out the match and snatch the win in straight sets, 6-3. 6-3.
Kuznetsova to play Ostapenko next
With today's win, the 12th seed took her revenge from last week against the always unpredictable Julia Goerges. She hence joins WTA Rising Star Jelena Ostapenko in the second round of the Qatar Total Open. It will be the first meeting between the two.