Petra Kvitova must stop Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur if she is to keep her bid for a second Qatar Total Open title alive in Doha on Thursday.
?? Petra Kvitova  vs ?? Ons Jabeur [WC] Match Info
Date: Thursday February 27
Tournament: WTA Doha QF
Court: Centre Court
Time: 6.30pm local time (3.30pm GMT)
Petra Kvitova vs Ons Jabeur Head-to-Head
Kvitova leads 1-0
2019 | Wimbledon R128 | Kvitova 6-4 6-2
Petra Kvitova vs Ons Jabeur Match Preview
P3tra has been in the house so far at the Qatar Total Open in Doha, with the eighth seed going the distance in both of her matches this week to advance into the quarter-finals for the fifth time in six appearances.
After recovering from a set down to outlast Carla Suarez Navarro in three in her opening match, Kvitova was forced to contend with an unpredictable opponent and heavy gusts of wind in order to return to the last eight on Wednesday. Kvitova managed to secure a 6-3 4-6 6-1 win over former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, surviving a second-set scare before adjusting accordingly in the decider – both to the conditions and her erratic opponent.
“There’s no chance to have tactics in this wind,” she said. “The wind changes everything. It’s difficult to put the serve in and she returned the second serve well. It was difficult from the first point. I lost to her in our last match, so I knew what to expect.”
The win means Kvitova hasn’t lost to an opponent ranked outside the top 40 since the U.S. Open.
A champion in Doha when she beat Garbine Muguruza in the 2018 final, Kvitova will be hoping to reclaim a spot inside the top 10 as soon as possible after dropping out of that elite bracket following her inability to defend Australian Open runner-up points last month. The Czech could re-enter the top 10 this week, but only if she wins the Doha title for a second time.
Kvitova has finished inside the top 10 seven times, including last year when she made that aforementioned Australian Open final (where she would have reached No. 1 in the world had she won), along with winning titles in Sydney and Stuttgart and finishing runner-up in Dubai. Kvitova started 2020 with a semi-final in Brisbane and quarter-final at the Australian Open, but she was forced to withdraw from St. Petersburg at the quarter-final stage in her last event before Doha. Having battled through a pair of three-setters, is Kvitova ready for one of the tour’s most in-form players in the last eight?
Jabeur has been lighting up the tour across the first two months of 2020 and has electrified crowds across the Middle East in her two events in Dubai and Doha over the last fortnight.
After becoming the first Arab woman to make a Grand Slam quarter-final when she beat the likes of Johanna Konta, Caroline Wozniacki and Wang Qiang at the Australian Open, Jabeur has continued her blistering form, pushing Simona Halep to a deciding set tiebreak in one of the best matches you’ll see this season last week in Dubai, while she’s been in devastating form this week in Doha, taking out Katerina Siniakova and the in-form Jennifer Brady in straight sets before earning the biggest win of her career by ranking, conquering No. 3 Karolina Pliskova by a 6-4 3-6 6-3 scoreline on Wednesday night – much to the delight of an enormous contingent of Tunisian fans.
Jabeur has already won more than half of the matches she won for the entirety of her best season last year in 2020, bringing an 8-4 record into the quarter-finals (she won 15 tour-level matches in 2019). Can the 25-year-old keep her dazzling run going in Doha?
Petra Kvitova vs Ons Jabeur Prediction
If she’s physically fine, I think Jabeur is almost the favourite. However, she was struggling towards the end of her win over Pliskova, and with less than 24 hours turnaround, it’s a big ask. In saying that, Kvitova isn’t at her best right now and has needed three sets across her first two matches. Another marathon match could be on the cards – and the result could hinge on whether Jabeur has enough gas left in the tank.