Qatar Open draw: Iga Swiatek-Jelena Ostapenko rematch on cards, Emma Raducanu features, Coco Gauff leads bottom half

Shahida Jacobs
A smiling Iga Swiatek
A smiling Iga Swiatek from Poland arrives for practice

Iga Swiatek and Jelena Ostapenko are once again on a collision course as they are in the same quarter of the Qatar Open although both players have tricky early encounters to negotiate.

The top eight seeds in the draw have a bye into the second round and two-time defending champion Swiatek will face either Sorana Cirstea or 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round while she could meet 14th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in the third round.

If the seeding projections hold, then Swiatek – who is assured of staying at No 1 even if she loses early as world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka opted not to play – will face Ostapenko in the quarter-final in what will be a rematch of their 2023 US Open last-16 clash that was won by the Latvian.

Ostapenko is in good form as she is 13-2 in 2024 having won the Adelaide International and the Ladies Linz.

However, the eighth-seeded Ostapenko herself has a tough path as she will meet either Emma Raducanu or Anhelina Kalinina in the second round. Raducanu, who lost in the second round of the Abu Dhabi Open last week to take her record for 2024 to 3-3, accepted a late wildcard into the main draw.

Ostapenko could face former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka or Beatriz Haddad Maia in the third round.

The winner of the first quarter is projected to meet either Ons Jabeur or Maria Sakkari in the semi-final.

Fourth seed Jabeur faces Lesia Tsurenko or wildcard Zeynep Sonmez in the second round while she could meet Naomi Osaka or Caroline Garcia in the third round. Osaka and Garcia meet again just weeks after facing each other in the first round of the Australian Open.

Qatar Open draw
Qatar Open draw

Seventh seed Sakkari starts against either Linda Noskova or a qualifier with ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova a projected third-round opponent.

With no Sabalenka in the draw, world No 3 Coco Gauff leads the bottom half of the draw and she will face either Donna Vekic or Katerina Siniakova in the second round. The American could face 14th seed Veronika Kudermetova in the third round with Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova a likely quarter-final opponent.

A Coco Gauff-Elena Rybakina semi-final could be on the cards with Rybakina headlining the third section. Rybakina kicks off her campaign against either Zhu Lin or Varvara Gracheva while she could meet 16th seed Emma Navarro in the third round and Australian Open runner-up Zheng Qinwen in the quarter-final.

READ MORE: How Aryna Sabalenka’s Qatar Open withdrawal affects the world No 1 battle with Iga Swiatek