The Middle East swing concludes next week at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, the first WTA 1000 tournament of the 2022 season.
Here's what you need to know about the 20th edition of the Qatar TotalEnergies Open:
When does the tournament start?
The Qatar TotalEnergies Open and Dubai Duty Free Championships alternate between WTA 1000 and WTA 500 levels each year. With Doha holding the WTA 500 designation last season, this year it is a WTA 1000. Played at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha, the event is played on outdoor hard courts and uses the Dunlop Australian Open ball.
The tournament features a 56-player singles draw and 28-team doubles draw. The Top 8 seeds will receive a bye into the second round.
Main draw play begins on Sunday, Feb.20.
When are the finals?
The singles final will be played on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 6:00 pm.
The doubles final will take place on Friday, Feb.25 after the two singles semifinals.
Who are the Top Eight seeds?
1. Aryna Sabalenka (No.2)
2. Barbora Krejcikova (No.3)
3. Paula Badosa (No.5)
4. Anett Kontaveit (No.6)
5. Garbiñe Muguruza (No.7)
6. Maria Sakkari (No.8)
7. Iga Swiatek (No.9)
8. Ons Jabeur (No.10)
The only Top 10 players missing from the Doha field are World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, who opted to skip the Middle East swing, and No.4 Karolina Pliskova, who is still recovering from an ongoing hand injury that has delayed her start to the season.
Who are the defending champions?
Petra Kvitova won her second Doha title last year, defeating Garbiñe Muguruza 6-2, 6-1 in the final. The Czech has enjoyed great success in Doha, where she has made the final in her last three appearances, winning the title last year and 2018. She defeated Muguruza in both finals.
In doubles, Nicole Melichar and Demi Schuurs defeated Monica Niculescu and Jelena Ostapenko 6–2, 2–6, [10–8].
What does the draw look like?
Main draw in Doha (WTA 1000), where 8 of the Top 10 are set to play.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 18, 2022
For a full draw breakdown click here.
What is the prize money and ranking points on offer?
First Round: $10,820/1 point
Second Round: $15,080/60 points
Third Round: $26,515/105 points
Quarterfinals: $53,000/190 points
Semifinals: $115,289/350 points
Final: $224,000/585 points
Champion: $380,000/900 points
Kvitova primed to continue Doha success: The defending champion has won 14 of her 15 matches in Doha, dating back to her first title run in 2018. After a frustrating start to the season in January, the two-time major champion seemed to find her form last week in Dubai, where she defeated No.2 Aryna Sabalenka and had match point on Jelena Ostapenko before narrowly losing in a decisive third-set tiebreak.
Kontaveit back in action: The St. Petersburg champion took a well-deserved week off after taking her first title of the season and is seeded No.4 in Dubai. While her run in Russia highlighted her incredible indoor prowess, the Estonian is just as dangerous whether or not she's playing under a roof, posting a 9-2 record on the season. Kontaveit made her first Doha quarterfinal last year, losing to Kvitova.
Insider Wrap: Kontaveit hits new career-high after St. Petersburg
Sabalenka, Muguruza, Jabeur looking for traction: Of the Top 8 seeds in Doha, only Sabalenka, Muguruza, and Jabeur have yet to make a semifinal in this season. A finalist last year, Muguruza is also looking to win back-to-back matches for the first time this season. Jabeur's January was marred by a back injury that forced a retirement in Sydney and withdrawal from the Australian Open, but the Tunisian's movement looked sharp last week in Dubai.
Badosa leads tough section: The Spaniard is seeded No.3 and will face either Belinda Bencic or Clara Tauson in the second round. The winner will face either 14th seed Coco Gauff, Shelby Rogers, Simona Halep, or Caroline Garcia in the third round. No.6 Maria Sakkari or No.9 Jessica Pegula loom as quarterfinal opponents.
Ostapenko in dangerous form: Already into her first final of the season in Dubai, the 2017 Roland Garros champion looks like she's back in her world-beating form. Seeded No.15 in Doha, she could face Amanda Anisimova in the second round and get a rematch with No.2 seed Barbora Krejcikova in the third round. The Czech held off Ostapenko's upset bid at the Australian Open, coming back to win in three sets.