World No 5 Elina Svitolina has reached the Qatar Total Open semi-finals last year but this time she wants to go one better and lift the ‘one of the most beautiful trophies’ in Doha.
Svitolina turned pro in 2010 and since then she has won 15 WTA singles titles, including the 2018 WTA Finals and three of five Premier 5-level tournaments in 2017, but she has never reached the final at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
Her best result in Doha was in the last edition where Romanian Simona Halep won five games in a row in the final set to beat Svitolina 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in semi-final.
This year Svitolina is the top seed and aiming for the Golden Falcon trophy.
“I really love this trophy. I’m really sad that I don’t have it in my collection yet because it’s one of the most beautiful trophies on the tour. I’ll do my best to have this trophy in my collection,” Svitolina said on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old, who was one of the title contenders in last month’s Australian Open, fell to America’s Jessica Pegula in the fourth round there, reckons she has a better chance this year in Doha.
“Last year was a bit tough for me in these two tournaments — Dubai and Doha. I was not in the right mindset. I was not feeling good on the court. Now this year is a different story. I feel that I have a good chance to play well, but anyway, there are lots of good players and I have to bring my best game in each match,” she said during a video conference.
The Ukrainian, who has career-high ranking Word No. 3 in 2017, also said she has moved on from the disappointing loss in Melbourne to focus on winning titles.
“I was playing really well in the beginning at Australian Open and I was feeling really good. I was really sad that I couldn’t go further than the fourth round. I think I could go much further, and for sure my goal was to win the tournament. Unfortunately, I did not play that match well but I have to move forward,” she said.
Talking about Doha conditions she said: “I always like to play here in Doha. This year is a bit different because I think the surface is a bit different because they made it for the Australian Open qualifiers, but I’m happy to be here,” she said.
Svitolina will start her singles campaign on Wednesday with a second round match against Japan’s Misaki Doi.Last updated: March 02 2021 11:13 PM
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