Aryna Sabalenka, the winner of the Australian Open, will miss the WTA 1000 Qatar Open for the second consecutive year

Aryna Sabalenka, the winner of the Australian Open, will miss the WTA 1000 Qatar Open for the second consecutive year

The 2024 Qatar Open, which gets started in Doha on Sunday, February 11, will not feature the reigning Australian Open winner, Aryna Sabalenka. The 2020 champion Belarusian has chosen to skip the WTA 1000 competition for the second year in a row.

At the International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, outdoor hard courts will host the 22nd edition of the women’s tennis tournament. Notable female competitors like Iga Swiatek, the reigning champion, Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina, and Ons Jabeur will compete in the tournament.

In Melbourne, Sabalenka, who is presently ranked second in the world, successfully defended her Australian Open title after defeating Zheng Qinwen 6-3, 6-2 in the championship match last month.

On Friday, February 2, tennis journalist Jose Morgado verified Sabalenka’s withdrawal via X (formerly Twitter).

Since 2020, the 25-year-old has participated in three Doha Open events. She defeated Petra Kvitova in the championship match in straight sets in 2020 to win the title. But in 2021, she was defeated in three sets by Garbine Muguruza in the second round.

In 2022, Aryna Sabalenka advanced to the competition’s quarterfinals, where she lost in straight sets to World No. 1 and eventual winner Swiatek.

An analysis of Aryna Sabalenka’s 2024 Australian Open performance

Last month, Aryna Sabalenka triumphed in her successful defense of the Australian Open title, making history as the first female champion in Melbourne since Victoria Azarenka in 2012–13.

Throughout the competition, Sabalenka was unstoppable and won seven matches without dropping a set, including a commanding victory over Zheng Qinwen of China in the championship match. With just 16 games lost, the Belarusian easily defeated Barbora Krejcikova, Ella Seidel, Brenda Fruhvirtova, Lesia Tsurenko, Amanda Anisimova, and the 28th seed.

Sabalenka faced fourth-seeded Coco Gauff in the semifinals after the latter had shocked Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine in the quarterfinals. Gauff made it to the Melbourne semifinals for the first time, having defeated Sabalenka in the US Open final in 2023. After the American forced a tiebreaker in the opening set, Sabalenka rallied to win the match 7-6(2), 6-4.

Zheng Qinwen, the first Chinese player to make it to a Grand Slam singles final since Li Na in 2014, faced World No. 2 in the championship match. After completing the match in one hour and 16 minutes, Sabalenka raised the trophy one more time.


Share This Post