Who was surprised that Mona Barthel beat countrywoman Angelique Kerber in Doha today? Probably none of you, considering Kerber's recent back problems and Barthel's recent boost in confidence. But maybe it was a surprise that it was such a beat-down. Barthel's performance was stunning. She served extremely well, hit 30 winners, made only 12 unforced errors, and was successful seven times out of seven at the net. She defeated Kerber 6-1, 6-2.
Barthel has become more poised on the court, her net game has improved, and now she has belief. She's a pleasure to watch.
Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams cruised through in straight sets today. Yesterday, however, there were some significant first-round eliminations. Jelena Jankovic (def. by Monica Niculescu), Laura Robson (def. by Daniela Hantuchova) and Maria Kirilenko (def. by Ekaterina Bychkova) all went out.
Lisa Raymond and Sam Stosur are playing doubles together again. They advanced to the Doha second round yesterday.