Ukrainian tennis superstar, Elina Svitolina will begin her 2019 WTA Qatar Open in the second round where she will face Jeļena Ostapenko from Latvia.
Elina Svitolina is the number 4 seed for this tournament and that resulted in her receiving an opening round bye. It has been an exceptionally strong few months for Elina Svitolina as she ended the 2018 season by winning the WTA Finals. The good form continued for Svitolina in the Australian Open as she made the quarterfinals. During the Australian Open, Svitolina defeated many top quality players including Madison Keys. Svitolina has a very strong record in the Middle-East as she has won the Dubai Open twice in the past. Considering her familiarity with the conditions and her recent form, Elina Svitolina will be very hard to stop in this tournament.
On the other side of the coin, Jeļena Ostapenko won her opening round fixture in 3 sets. It was a close match but Ostapenko broke early in the third set to ensure a comfortable victory. During the win, Jeļena Ostapenko returned serve exceptionally well as she won 50% of her return points which allowed her to win 7 return games. That being said, Jeļena Ostapenko had struggled with her own serve as she allowed her opponent to break her own serve on 3 occasions. Jeļena Ostapenko has had past success having won the French Open in 2017. That being said, Ostapenko has lacked that form in recent times which will make it tough for her to compete against an elite player in Elina Svitolina.
Elina Svitolina and Jeļena Ostapenko have played twice in the past. Ostapenko currently has a 2-0 record against Svitolina. The most recent match between these two players was in 2018 at the Miami Masters where Jeļena Ostapenko won in straight sets.
All in all, I am going to pick Elina Svitolina to win this tournament. Svitolina is one of the elite players in the world and she enters this event in very good form following her strong Australian Open campaign. Svitolina has a very strong record in the Middle-East and I expect her to improve her record by winning this match.