The Qatar Total Open draw is out, and there are some struggling top players who should beware. Patty Schnyder, for example, has the bad luck to play Tamira Paszek in the first round. The talented and relentless Paszek defeated Schnyder in a tightly-contested third round in last year's U.S. Open. Amelie Mauresmo faces Sabine Lisicki, the German player whose game needs a lot of polishing, but who nevertheless knows how to inflict damage. And Lucie Safarova, whose fortunes go up and down, may find them going down again when she plays her first round against Dominika Cibulkova.
Other interesting first rounds of a different sort include:
Kateryna Bondarenko v. Eleni Daniilidou
Nadia Petrova v. Anabel Medina Garrigues
Francesca Schiavone v. Shahar Peer
Katerina Srebotnik v. Dinara Safina
Once the qualifiers are assigned, there may some more interesting first rounds.
The Doha tournament was upgraded to Tier I level this year.