Doha - 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
Organisers have announced that play will start three hours
early on Wednesday - 13:00 - 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.
Although it is winter in Qatar, the current wet and cold
weather is thought to be some of the worst the country has experienced for
Earlier this month, Qatar, infamous for its hot weather
which has led to the 2022 football World Cup being pushed back to
November/December, recorded its lowest ever temperature, just 1.5 degrees