Doha Wednesday: Petra Vs Venus On Tap
Published February 11, 2014 12:12
Wednesday, Second Round
 Petra Kvitova (CZE #6) vs. Venus Williams (USA #48)
Head-to-head: Kvitova leads 2-1
Venus Williams shook off her disappointing Australian Open first round loss with a defeat of Petra Martic in her opener here on Monday. But now the competition stiffens in the form of another Petra and the only other former Wimbledon winner in the draw - Petra Kvitova.
If this one goes like the first three meetings in the series, fans are in for a treat, as all three were three-setters and the most recent one in the Tokyo semifinals last September was won by Kvitova in a third set tie-break. Kvitova could use an infusion of confidence, as this will be her first match since her upset loss in the first round of the Australian Open at the hands of Luksika Kumkhum. A win for Williams would be her 120th over a Top 10 foe in 203 such meetings.
 Li Na (CHN #3) vs. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK #32)
Head-to-head: Rybarikova leads 1-0
The accolades have been plentiful for Li Na so far this year, highlighted by a 12-0 start, her second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and being assured of rising to a career-high No.2 on next week's rankings - making her the WTA's highest-ranked Asian ever. And in more potential good news for Li, the last three times the reigning Australian Open champion played in this event, they were victorious each time.
Li's opponent when she takes the court for the first time since raising the trophy in Melbourne will be Magdalena Rybarikova, who endured a three hour battle with Francesca Schiavone on Tuesday. Rybarikova actually won her lone previous clash with Li in the 2009 Birmingham final for her first WTA title. Another triumph would be the best win of her career, as the Slovak is 0-8 against Top 5 foes. Li has not lost to an opponent outside the Top 20 since last August in Toronto versus No.27 Sorana Cirstea.
 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #4) vs. Sorana Cirstea (ROU #26)
Head-to-head: Radwanska leads 4-2
The series between Agnieszka Radwanska and Sorana Cirstea dates back seven and a half years and has had lots of twists and turns. No one has won more than two straight and three of the matches have been three-setters, yet in consecutive meetings in 2008 and 2009, Radwanska only surrendered one game total.
In three of Radwanska's four appearances here, she lost to the eventual champ in the semifinals. She will be looking to shake off a disappointing loss to Dominika Cibulkova in the semis of the Australian Open, which had appeared to be a great opportunity for her to capture her first Grand Slam title.
And while Radwanska had a first round bye, Cirstea was pushed to the brink on Tuesday, overcoming a 5-3 third set deficit and a match point in her 26 61 75 defeat of qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva. She is seeking her fourth Top 5 win, which would in fact be the best win of her career - having never beaten someone ranked higher than No.5 previously.