Jankovic tames rough weather, Pironkova

Serb ousts Bulgarian from Qatar Open


Afp February 14, 2017
PHOTO: AFP

DOHA: Former world number one Jelena Jankovic was the most notable winner on a day affected by rain and thunderstorms at the Qatar Open on Monday.

The Serb, a former US Open finalist, beat Bulgaria's Tsevtana Pironkova 6-1, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4 in a first round qualifier lasting two-and-a-half hours.

It is the first time Jankovic has played in qualifiers since 2004.

It was also her seventh straight victory against Pironkova.

There were also victories for Americans Christina McHale and Madison Brengle to progress to the main draw.

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And later on in the day, in a rain-affected match Australian Samantha Stosur, the 2011 US Open winner, won through to the second round beating Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 7-5, 6-4.

But overall it was a day dominated by the bad weather, with several interruptions halting play.

And with further rain and thunderstorms forecast for the week ahead in Doha, it could prove a headache for tournament organisers.

Already the top seeds, including, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova, will not play until Wednesday at the earliest, three days into a six-day tournament.

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Qatar — infamous for its hot weather which has seen the 2022 football World Cup host push the tournament back to November/December that year — has been suffering relatively poor weather for the past 10 days or so.

Earlier this month the desert state recorded its lowest ever temperature, just 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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