Victoria Azarenka and Elina Svitolina Recommence Their Tandem at WTA Qatar Open

Published 02/28/2021, 9:00 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka reacts during her first round match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


WTA Qatar Open will begin in a few days, and notably, the high-profile pairing of Victoria Azarenka and Elina Svitolina will reunite in Doha, Qatar.

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This will be Svitolina and Azarenka’s second appearance in a tournament as a pair. They first played together at Indian Wells 2019 but were ousted in the first round itself.

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates. (Photo by Riccardo Antimiani – Pool/Getty Images)

The WTA Doha Open doubles draw was announced, and in the first round, the team of Azarenka and Svitolina are present. They will play the wildcard pairing of Elena Vesnina and Laura Siegemund.

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Vesnina is a former doubles partner of Azarenka. Both had played with each other in 2008 and 2009, reaching two finals, one of which was at the French Open.

The doubles draw is headlined by the Czech pairing of Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková. They are former World No.1s and have won two Grand Slam titles together.

On the singles side, Svitolina is the top seed in Qatar. She is ranked 5th in the world and is being accompanied by other top 10 stars- Karolina Pliskova, Aryna Sabalenka, and Petra Kvitova. Svitolina’s partner Azarenka is seeded 8th and will begin her Qatar Open 2021 journey tomorrow against Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Victoria Azarenka is a two-time singles champ at WTA Qatar Open

Azarenka is a former champion in Qatar and is making her first appearance there since 2015. The Belarusian received a wildcard to return to the event. She won back-to-back titles back in 2012 and 2013. Furthermore, Azarenka lost a final in her last appearance in Qatar back in 2015.

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Azarenka’s compatriot, Aryna Sabalenka, is the defending champion. Interestingly, no player has defended the Qatar Open crown other than Azarenka, and thus Sabalenka could use some inspiration from her Belarusian counterpart.

Elina Svitolina reacts during her match. REUTERS/Kelly Defina

The draw places Sabalenka on a collision course with Svitolina. Both could play each other in a high-profile semifinal. Furthermore, Svitolina could face Azarenka in the quarterfinals. So Belarusian tests are in sight for the number one seed.

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Bhavishya Mittal

958 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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