Date: 5 March 2021
Tournament: Qatar Total Open 2021
Venue: Doha, Qatar
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Match timing: Not before 6 pm local time, 8.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Petra Kvitova vs Jessica Pegula preview
Petra Kvitova overcame a second set stumble against Anett Kontaveit on Thursday before booking her spot in the last four of the 2021 Qatar Open.
Kvitova, who will be making her second consecutive semifinal appearance at the tournament, will take on America's Jessica Pegula on Friday for a shot at moving through to the summit clash.
Pegula - who had earlier taken out Jelena Ostapenko and Qiang Wang - has continued to wreak havoc in the draw. On Thursday the 27-year-old beat second seed Karolina Pliskova convincingly, spending less than an hour on the court.
Having come through the qualifiers, Pegula has clocked the highest number of hours on the court among the players remaining in the draw. She seems to have cracked the code to succeed in the conditions at Doha, and could well ask Kvitova some tough questions.
Petra Kvitova vs Jessica Pegula head-to-head
Petra Kvitova leads Jessica Pegula in the head-to-head by a slender 1-0 margin. The Czech scored a straight-sets win over her opponent in the third round of the 2020 US Open.
Petra Kvitova vs Jessica Pegula prediction
The two women have had contrasting starts to the 2021 season. While Jessica Pegula got off to a flier Down Under - she is currently sitting at a career-high ranking of No. 44 after a maiden quarterfinal in Melbourne - Petra Kvitova struggled for form.
That said, Kvitova seems to have put in plenty of work into her game over the last couple of weeks. The Czech would be pleased with her performances in the first two matches of this tournament; she has hit a total of 62 winners, while also managing to keep her errors under check for the most part.
Kvitova's win over Kontaveit in particular would have given her a lot of confidence. The 30-year-old was able to close out a tough three-set match, something she hasn't been able to do often enough in recent months.
Kvitova should expect a similar fight on Friday from Pegula, who plays a strong attacking game that's not much different from Kontaveit's - or even her own. The Czech could still do with some improvements in the serving department, especially against a good returner like Pegula.
But if she can find a way to maintain the pressure from the baseline and strike the ball as cleanly as she has done in her last two matches here, Kvitova should be able to come through in the end.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win in two tight sets.