Swiatek eases past Cirstea in Doha opener
Doha, Feb 13 (IANS) Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek opened her Qatar Open campaign with a victory over Romania's Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 6-1 in the second round.
The world no. 1 Pole, who received an opening round Bye, will next play the winner of the match between Erika Andreeva and Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Swiatek is one of five women who've won the singles title in Doha twice, and is seeking to becoming the first to win three titles at the event, having won the title in 2022 and 2023. The Pole is aiming to become the first player to win at any WTA Tour event for a third consecutive year since Serena Williams won in Miami from 2013-15, according to WTA.
The 22-year-old's win on Monday is Swiatek's 68th at a WTA 1000 event. Only Caroline Wozniacki (89) and Victoria Azarenka (79) recorded more victories at the tournament level before turning 23.
Swiatek has won her last nine matches in Doha, which includes a streak of 15 straight sets. In the first match of her 2022 victory, she defeated Viktorija Golubic in three sets, and hasn't lost a set in Qatar since then.