Wednesday’s Set Points, WTA Doha: Cibulkova, Puig and Zhang beat the rain to reach the QFs

Set PointsWednesday was a busy day at the Qatar Total Open with first round matches all completed but only three second round matches in the books following another rainy day in Doha. Trying to keep up with today’s results was really challenging so just a quick summary of the first round results…

Daria Kasatkina d. Irina-Camelia Begu, 3-6 6-1 7-5 – Sounded shaky but in the end, a really good win for Kasatkina. The Russian player had endured a couple of surprising losses since her big win over Kerber in Sydney who she plays next. For Begu, she’s lost nine of her last ten matches on tour.

Monica Puig d. Laura Siegemund, 6-0 6-1 – Puig has now dropped just three games to Siegemund in two encounters. It sounds like the German player was struggling with an injury.

Yulia Putintseva d. Timea Bacsinszky, 6-1 ret. – To be honest, i’m not surprised by this after Bacsinszky had a leg issue in her Fed Cup singles match on Sunday.

Caroline Wozniacki d. Kiki Bertens, 6-2 6-3 – A solid win for Wozniacki, who came from an early break down in both sets.

Lauren Davis d. Roberta Vinci, 6-2 6-3 – Another superb win for Davis who is still unbeaten on the WTA tour in 2017 with her only loss coming in the first round of the Australian Open.

Elena Vesnina d. Christina McHale, 5-7 6-3 7-6(7) – Vesnina had lost her last two matches that went to the third set tiebreak but came up trumps in the longest match of the day to edge McHale. Vesnina recovered from 3-5 down in the third set and escaped a *0-40 deficit at 5-5 before winning on her third match point in the tiebreak.

Barbora Strycova d. Fatma Al Nabhani, 6-3 6-0 – Al Nabhani held her first service game and even led by a break before Strycova came back to win 12 of the last 13 games of the match. Al Nabhani has never won a set in Doha (qualifying or main draw) in nine previous attempts.

Garbiñe Muguruza d. Cagla Buyukakcay, 6-3 6-2 – A routine win for Muguruza with Buyukakcay still yet to win a singles match in 2017.

Zhang Shuai d. Timea Babos, 7-6(3) 6-3 – Babos remains winless in singles on the WTA tour in 2017 – she led 5-2 in the first set and even had a pair of set points.

Caroline Garcia d. Madison Brengle, 6-2 4-6 6-3 – A solid win for Garcia against a player who can be very tricky to break down.

Now onto the second round matches where three players have confirmed their place in the quarter-finals. The first of those was via a retirement win for Monica Puig, who was leading Yulia Putintseva, 6-2 4-6 2-1. Monica sounded positive in her interview with Reem Abulleil which is linked below.

Dominika Cibulkova scored an excellent win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 7-5 2-6 6-2. Cibulkova reeled off five games in a row from 2-5 down to win the opening set. The Slovak player had lost her last two three setters but finished strongly to book her place in the quarter-finals.

Zhang Shuai upset the number five seed, Garbiñe Muguruza, 7-6(3) 3-6 7-5. Conditions looked pretty wild with the wind from the point below.

I wouldn’t read too much into this loss for Muguruza or any of the results this week for that matter with the weather and cancellations, and players having to double up with two matches in one day. While this match didn’t go Muguruza’s way, i’m pleased to see how she is competing this year. Zhang, who took a medical time-out at the end of the second set, has now won three of her last four matches against top ten opposition.

Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska were just about to start their match when the rain came again. Lauren Davis was up a set on Elena Vesnina, 7-5 having been down 1-5! Thursday’s order of play is another mad one. I was hoping to write some previews this week but that’s gone out of the window sadly with matches doubling up. On days like this, I really miss TennisTV. I was watching Coric-Khachanov from Rotterdam last night on a proper screen and while it was enjoyable, I also felt extremely bitter at the same time 😂.

And finally, some positive news about Julia Goerges’s injury sustained in Hawaii.

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