World number 1 Victoria Azarenka had a bye in the first round of the Qatar Total Open being played this week in Doha and came up against the Swiss player Romima Oprandi in her first match to try to defend her title. She started slowly, going down 0-2 and 0-30 before turning on the after burners and taking the next nine games in a row to lead 6-2 3-0. Games then went with serve until Azarenka finished off the second set 6-3 to make it to the 3rd round where she will meet Christina McHale.
4th seed Agnieszka Radwanska played the qualifier from Australia, Anastasia Rodionova, who is ranked at 131. Radwanska also had a bye in the first round, while Rodionova easily beat Jie Zheng in straight sets 6-2 6-3 on Day 1. On Wednesday, the Pole made light work of this match, winning 6-3 6-2 in just an hour and a quarter on court. She will take on Ana Ivanovic in the third round.
The most exciting and entertaining match on Day 3 was between unseeded but 24th ranked Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic and the 16th seed, the up and coming young American Sloane Stephens. Stephens actually led 6-4, 5-3 and had three set points, but Zakopalova does not give up easily and fought back to take the set to a breaker which she won 7-5. In the decider Zakopalova was down a break three times with Stephens serving for the match at 6-5, but again managed to draw level and force another breaker which she also won 7-5. Her next opponent will be Maria Sharapova.
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