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Rain plays spoilsport in Qatar Open


Rain wreaked havoc at the Qatar Open on Tuesday, with torrential downpours in the desert state pretty much wiping out all of the second day’s play.

Of the 11 scheduled singles matches only one was completed when Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated former world number one Jelena Jankovic in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

But even that match took more than seven hours to complete because of the constant rain breaks.

Pavlyuchenkova’s victory under leaden skies meant she is only the second player to win through to the second round of the tournament.

Play was started in three other first round matches but none was finished, though American qualifier Lauren Davies finished a set up against Italy’s Roberta Vinci before the rain called a halt for the day. The persistent wet weather had also wiped out large parts of day one.  Organisers have announced that play will start three hours early on Wednesday — 1100 GMT — due to a growing backlog of matches.

Some players, including the number five seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain face playing two singles matches in a day on Wednesday. There could also be a first outing for number one seed, and world number two, Angelique Kerber.

However with further rain forecast, it is possible she may not play her first match of the Qatar Open – she received a bye into the second round – until Thursday, four days into the six-day tournament.

Agence France-Presse