Friday, 17 February 2017

Seeds tumble in Doha

A top class field assembled in Doha this week for the Qatar Open, a Premier event on the WTA Tour.  Five of the world's top ten, and eleven of the world's top twenty active players entered the tournament, headed by Angie Kerber and Karolina Pliskova as the top two seeds.

Seventh seed Timea Bacsinszky,  after a fine Fed Cup performance last week for Switzerland,  unfortunately succumbed to injury in her first round match against Yulia Putintseva.  However, the Kazakhstan player has been in good touch of late, and may well have won in any circumstance.  Fate dealt Yulia a cruel blow in her next match when it was she who had to withdraw when a set all against Monica Puig, the Puerto Rican now one of the quarter finalists. 

Only two of the seeded players survived until the quarter finals - second seed Pliskova and third seed Dominika Cibulkova.  
Angie Kerber was dumped by Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina, despite levelling the match with a second set whitewash 6-0. 
Kasatkina is currently playing Puig in the quarters, and their match is at a set apiece. It will be completed later today, with the winner claiming one of the spots in an all unseeded semi final.

The other place belongs to the winner of Caroline Wozniacki v Lauren Davis.  Wozniacki ended the tournament for fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets, while qualifier Davis said goodbye to sixth seed Elena Vesnina.

Samantha Stosur defeated eighth seed Barbora Strycova in three sets before bowing out to Cibulkova in a quarter final.  Cibulkova will play the winner of Shuai Zhang and Karolina Pliskova in the second semi final.  Zhang knocked out fifth seed Garbine Muguruza in three sets to reach the quarters and Pliskova edged past Caroline Garcia in two sets, winning 34 points from the 37 times her first serve landed in play.

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