Kerber to renew rivalry with Halep in Doha

Sajith B Warrier

Bengaluru/Doha, January 9: World's leading lights -- world No.1 Simona Halep and world No.2 Angelique Kerber will renew their rivalry at the Qatar Total Open 2019, a WTA Tour event, to be held from February 11 to 16 at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.

Halep had defeated Kerber in the final of the 2014 edition and since then German has been waiting for a chance to turn the tables on the Romanian.

Now in its 17th edition, this year's event will parade five of the world's top ten players including 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan - who is currently ranked fifth, World No. 8 and 2017 champion Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic (2017 champion) and Netherland's Kiki Bertens, the World No. 9.

Other players to watch out for include 2016 champion Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, World No. 11 Anastasija Sevastova, 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys as well as Latvia's former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, the 2016 finalist.

A total of $851,031 cash prize is up for grabs in the 32-competitor singles draw and 16-pair doubles draw event.

"We are happy to host the Qatar Total Open once again. It has always been a pleasure to bring the world's best players to Doha, the hub of global sports, every year. Qatar Total Open has grown to become one of the most sought-after events in Qatar's sporting calendar and we are really proud of what we've been able to achieve over the years. This year's edition promises to be greater and better than the previous and fans are assured of having the best of fun as they watch their favourite stars play," said Tournament Director Saad Saleh Al Mohannadi.

Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova is the defending champion, having defeated Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the last year's final.

The online sales of tickets for the tournament will go live on Thursday (January 10)
while purchases in selected malls will commence on Saturday (January 12).

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