Mon, Feb 20, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Pliskova defeats Wozniacki for first time in Qatar final


Karolina Pliskova on Saturday beat Caroline Wozniacki for the first time in her career to claim the Qatar Ladies Open title.

The powerful Czech won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 for her eighth WTA title and her second of the year, after her victory at the Brisbane International last month.

It was the first Qatar title for the world No. 3 and confirms the 24-year-old’s growing reputation as a potential Grand Slam title winner.

“It’s amazing, it means so much to me to win the tournament,” she said. “It was an unusual week for me, it was not easy with all the stoppages.”

“I was waiting for a good result here, because I lost three years in a row in the first or second rounds, so big step,” she added. “I’m excited to get the trophy.”

Pliskova hit 27 winners and four aces in a match that she controlled from the beginning, after breaking Wozniacki in her first two service games.

Her win was even more impressive given her late arrival in Qatar.

Pliskova arrived in Doha after helping defending champions the Czech Republic into the Fed Cup semi-finals on Feb. 11-12.

Her matches in Qatar were delayed by wet weather, which meant she ended up — like Wozniacki — playing her quarter-final, semi-final and the final within 24 hours of each other.

Wozniacki’s defeat was the second time the Dane has lost in Qatar after being defeated in straight sets by Russia’s Vera Zvonareva back in 2011.

However, one consolation from her performances this week is that she is likely to move up three places in the world rankings to No. 15.

“I’m a little bit disappointed right now,” Wozniacki said. “It’s a goal of mine to pretty much have won everything, but she played really well today. I thought I played well. I did my best. It’s been a tough week.”

She added that wanted to use her form in Doha as a platform for the season.

“Hopefully I can keep up my level and keep improving. I’m hoping for a good season,” she said.

Both players will now head to the United Arab Emirates, where they are to play in the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Astonishingly, completion of the final on Saturday meant the tournament was able to finish on time after a week of awful weather in Qatar.

Rainfall and thunderstorms throughout the week had delayed the schedule so much that organizers said on Friday that if they could not finish the tournament by yesterday there would be no winner.

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