TennisSection previews the WTA Qatar Open 2021 as Petra Kvitova (4) meets Garbine Muguruza in the Final on Saturday, March 6th 2021.
A blockbuster Final is on our hands as two of the top female players in the world face off in what is sure to be an entertaining match. These two always seem to be at their best when they get deep into tournaments and this is sure to be no exception. Will it be the fourth seeded Czech player Petra Kvitova (11/8) or the the former world number one Garbine Muguruza (4/7) getting the win and claiming their first title of the 2021 season?
Petra Kvitova (4) has been in great form thus far here in Doha, overcoming three tough opponents to reach the Final. She easily dispatched Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the First Round, got past the in-form Anett Kontaveit in three sets in a close Quarter-Final match and then another close victory over Jessica Pegula in the Semis, in a match that many thought she could potentially lose. Now ranked #10 in the world rankings, she has displayed some of her trademark power tennis that we haven’t seen in quite some time, using her big serve and ground strokes for the one-two punch that has made her so successful in her career. A former Grand Slam champion, she will be hoping for a strong 2021 season to get her career back on track after a relatively inconsistent 2020.
Garbine Muguruza is unseeded here in Doha but has played like her former world number one self. After a gritty three set win over third seeded Aryna Sabalenka in the Quarter-Finals, she demolished Maria Sakkari in the Semis for the loss of only four games. She has been in very good form to start the year, with a Finals appearance in Adelaide before losing in the Fourth Round of the Australian Open to eventual champion Naomi Osaka, a match that she dominated the majority of. She has carried that form into this tournament and even though she is the lower ranked of the two at #16 she will be extremely confident of getting the victory. She has played with controlled aggression and if she can keep her unforced error count low she will be sure to be a handful for her Czech opponent.
The two players have faced each other on five occasions, with Kvitova being dominant, leading the head to head series 4-1. The only time that Muguruza was able to defeat her was all the way back in 2015, at the WTA Finals. Interestingly, they played against each other in the Final here in Doha in 2018, with Kvitova winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. It has been a battle every time they have faced off and I expect it to be no different here, as they have both been equally outstanding. Their matches are always filled with intensity and spectacular shot-making and one could not have asked for a better matchup for the Final here in Doha.
Despite Kvitova leading the head to head series by an overwhelming 4-1, they have not played each other since 2018’s Final so I don’t think it has much bearing on this match other than giving her a psychological edge. Muguruza has matured greatly as a player over the past few years and is better equipped to handle Kvitova’s explosive game style. If Muguruza is able to consistently hold serve she should have enough quality to get the win here, as she has been striking the ball incredibly well here this week from both sides of the court. She is the more in-form player and despite not being seeded should be considered the favorite to win here. Someone of Kvitova’s stature and talent should never be discounted however I do think that Muguruza having a walkover in the Semi-Final will be a critical factor here as she will be well rested. I expect an extremely intense and close match with the Spaniard getting the win to claim her first title of 2021.
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to win.