Doha, 12 February 2023 - Defending champion Iga Swiatek faces the likelihood to meeting Danielle Collins in her opening match following a bye of the WTA 500 $780,637 Qatar TotalEnergies Open, the draw for which was held at the Khalifa International Tennis & Sports Complex.
Pole Swiatek heads the draw as the top seed and after her first-round bye, the World No.1 could face Danielle Collins or a qualifier. A possible match against Collins could be tricky -- as the American had knocked out Swiatek in the 2022 Australian Open semi-finals.
Seven of the Top 10-ranked players will contest the Qatar TotalEnergies Open on hard courts starting on Monday. The tournament will run February 13-18.
Swiatke had lifted the Falcon Trophy last year defeating Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in straight sets.
No.7 seed Belinda Bencic or former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka could be potential quarter-final opponents for either Swiatek or Collins.
The 29-year-old Collins, who was present during the draw ceremony, said she was glad to be in Doha. “Yeah, first time here. So this is a part of the world that I haven’t really gotten to travel to before and really looking forward to being able to discover the city and be able to play some good tennis too.
“I’ve always heard great things about the event here and it being one of the most well ran tournaments and one of the most hospitable tournaments to. So everyone looks forward to coming here and it’s great to be here for the first time,” she said.
When asked about the draw she said, “I haven’t had the best luck with the draws recently, but I think starting off the year facing such strong opponents with Elena Rybakina and Jelena Ostapenko (at the Australian Open) and now potentially Iga (Swiatek) in the second round - I’m being challenged with playing the best players in the world and I think it’s a good challenge.
“That’s the position you want to be in, right? Playing against the best people in the world. So hopefully I can just try to play my best tennis and I certainly will have to do that and maybe some better draws in the future,” stressed Collins hoping for better luck with the draws.
The 28-player draw in the second quarter has No.4 seed Coco Gauff, who has a first-round bye, and will face either Zhang Shuai or two-time Wimbledon and former Doha champion Petra Kvitova in her first match.
At the bottom of that section, No.8 seed Veronika Kudermetova will meet former Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova in the first round. The winner of that match will take on either Liudmila Samsonova or former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.
The third quarter is led by No.3 seed Caroline Garcia (with a first-round bye) and No.5 seed Maria Sakkari. Sakkari has a tricky opener against Zheng Qinwen, last season’s WTA Newcomer of the Year.
The final quarter sees No.2 seed Jessica Pegula at the very bottom of the draw, with a first-round bye.
Pegula will meet either her fellow American Madison Keys or former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko in her first match.
No.6 seed Daria Kasatkina is also in the bottom quarter. Kasatkina will play a qualifier first up, with the winner of that match facing either Paula Badosa or Beatriz Haddad Maia in a tough second-rounder.
Meanwhile the qualifying rounds for the tournament are being played at the Khalifa International tennis complex.