Kiki Bertens continues her Doha campaign on Wednesday when she faces China's Saisai Zheng in the third round.
Bertens vs Zheng is live from Doha on Wednesday, 26 February from 3:30pm local time/ 12:30pm GMT
Bertens opened her Doha bid with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Karolina Muchova, stretching her winning streak to five matches.
After claiming her first title of the season in Petersburg, Bertens withdrew from last week’s tournament in Dubai, but she’s made a winning return to the tour in Doha, carrying on from where she left off in Russia. The Dutchwoman won 72% of points on her first serve against Muchova, and saved all six break points she faced in the hour and 24-minute contest. Bertens was more clinical with her own opportunities, converting three of four chances she created on Muchova’s serve.
“I was really happy with the level I played today. My serving was great – I saved all the break points I faced – and I missed only one break point that I won, so on the important points I was there,” she said.
“I hadn’t played her before but I’d seen her play and I knew she’d be really aggressive, coming to the net so I knew I had to play aggressive myself. If she was able to play aggressive, she’d have been able to get to the net and put me under pressure.”
Bertens is bidding to reach her third quarter final of the season, having made at least the last eight in Brisbane and St. Petersburg. She lost to Naomi Osaka in the quarter finals of her season opener in Brisbane, and of course, went all the way in St. Petersburg. The only tournament where she has not gone as far the quarter finals this year was the Australian Open, where she was beaten by Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round.
The 28-year-old will also attempt to reach the last eight in Doha for the second straight season when she faces Zheng on Wednesday.
Zheng is into her second quarter final of the season following victories over French Open finalist, Marketa Vondrousova and former world No. 2, Vera Zvonareva. The Chinese recovered from a first set blow-out to beat Vondrousova 1-6 6-3 6-2, while she fought back from a break down to score a 7-5 6-1 victory over Zvonareva in the second round.
Zvonareva served for the opening set at 5-4, but that was the cue for Zheng to go on a tear, winning nine of the next ten games to romp to victory in an hour and 30 minutes.
Zheng has finished each of the last six seasons inside the top 100, and secured her second consecutive top-50 finish last year, when she ended the campaign at No. 42 in the world. Her best result from 2019 was a title run in San Jose, while she made the semi-finals at the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, and quarter finals in Hua Hin, Acapulco and Zhengzhou. She also won a WTA 125K title in Anning.
She’s had a couple of tough early draws in 2020, losing to Elena Rybakina in the first round in Shenzhen, and falling to Naomi Osaka in the second round at the Australian Open, but she reached her first quarter final of the season in Hua Hin, and will aim to match in Doha that when she faces Kiki Bertens on Wednesday.
Bertens has beaten Zheng in each of their previous two meetings, and with the form she’s been in this season, the Dutchwoman should be able to overpower the Chinese and advance to the Doha quarter finals for the second straight season.