Thursday’s Set Points, WTA Doha: Ten wins on the trot for Kvitova, Kerber beats Konta

The last eight is all set at the 2018 Qatar Total Open in Doha with five of the top eight seeds still alive. There is just one unseeded player left in the draw in what has been a week of few shocks. There are many familiar faces left with five of the quarter-finalists having already won a title in 2018. Read on for Thursday’s Doha highlights, polls/predictions for the quarter-finals and a few highlights off the court too…

Kvitova extends winning streak to ten

What a star. Petra Kvitova kept her stunning run going with a hard fought 6-4 7-5 victory over the number three seed, Elina Svitolina. Kvitova also extended her winning streak over Svitolina to seven with a first top five win of 2018. Stat of the day from the second set – Kvitova won 85% of second serve points and Svitolina won 100% of second serve points!

Svitolina didn’t play a bad match. I thought she was a little panicky in her hitting at the end and she struggled to make an impact on Kvitova in the rallies who was striking the ball well and all too often able to find the winner. Beating Radwanska and Svitolina back-to-back is a monster effort from Kvitova, particularly after coming from Fed Cup.

Bellis gains revenge on Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova dismantled CiCi Bellis for the loss of just two games in less than an hour in Brisbane. One month on and Bellis turned the tables for a 7-6(4) 6-3 third round victory. While Pliskova was forced to sit out Fed Cup at the weekend due to illness, this result was still a surprise to me. I was a tad disappointed by Bellis when I watched her in Melbourne but she’s having a superb week in Doha. I watched the third set of her win over Madison Keys last night where she was hitting with tremendous depth. Today’s win was the best win of Bellis’s career by ranking.

Nine out of nine for Wozniackiย 

Caroline Wozniacki maintained her 100% record over Monica Niculescu with a 7-5 6-1 third round win. The talking point from the match came at 4-4 in a wild opening set where the umpire picked Wozniacki up on impersonating Niculescu’s grunt during a point (see tweet by Ashish below). You can hear Wozniacki saying to the umpire “it’s the only way she can win… is to piss people off” ๐Ÿ˜‚. Wozniacki’s petulance when things aren’t going to plan has become a thing. The Dane elaborated onย Niculescu’s “tactics” in her press conference.

Kerber rallies past Konta

In the last match of the day, Angelique Kerber rallied from a very slow start to beat Johanna Konta, 1-6 6-1 6-3 in one hour and 51 minutes. It wasn’t a vintage Kerber display who looked oddly disinterested in the opener. I really liked the way she was able to battle back though and force Konta into making errors. The Brit mistimed a forehand from a winning position with Kerber serving at *4-3 *30-30 in the decider. Konta won just one more point after that miss. All in all, a positive week for Konta as Kerber moves on.

No time for the highlights? Just watch the rally linked below ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘.

Friday’s slate of QFs is awesome

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Angelique Kerber

Petra Kvitova vs. Julia Goerges

Garbiรฑe Muguruza vs. Caroline Garcia

CiCi Bellis vs. Simona Halep

And the semi-finals could be even better! I’m on the fence for Kvitova-Goerges and Muguruza-Garcia. I’m going for Kerber, Goerges, Garcia and Halep to reach the semi-finals.

Dubai entry list news

Dubai is up next week and has suffered a double hit with the withdrawals of Madison Keys (illness) and Maria Sharapova (forearm strain). It was also announced today that Jelena Ostapenko will be playing the tournament.

Team Bucie coming soon

Great news as Bethanie Mattek-Sands is set to the return to the tennis court in March at Indian Wells where she will once again team up with Lucie Safarova. To be honest i’m pleasantly surprised Beth is back so soon after that horrendous injury at Wimbledon last year.

Congrats to Nicole Gibbs!

This was niceeee!ย ๐Ÿ˜Š.

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9 thoughts on “Thursday’s Set Points, WTA Doha: Ten wins on the trot for Kvitova, Kerber beats Konta

  1. Caroline Garcia impresses me so much today. She’s proved that she has a really solid B game, and no matter if things aren’t coming together for her, she stays so calm and positive. She came from a break down twice in that first set and again in the tiebreaker, and not once did she get herself worked up.

    I fear for her against Muguruza though. She seems not to back herself when she plays flat hitting ball strikers. She’ll need to serve really well and keep the errors way down if she’s going to win. And put pressure on Garbi’s serve without giving free points away.


  2. I completely agree with Wozniacki and I’m really glad she mentioned it. More should speak up about this appalling aspect to a growing number of women’s style of play. The real test is: is the noise pretty consistent across the match, or at leat across long sections of it? (a number of female players are totally silent one game, then noisy the next game, then silent again come the next game). The other main question is: does the player suddenly curtail the noise if they hit into the net? I see this happening often. I could name a good number of top players who do this. It needs stamping out by the WTA.


    • ๐Ÿ™‚ This in combination with her slice play. When she gets going she can slice the pants off you all day, basically everyday. But, I like Niculescu, a guilty pleasure when she plays straight up baseline hitters. You can see the frustration on the opponents faces trying to just hit her off the court ๐Ÿ™‚ preferably into somewhere in the stands. She can be a nightmare to play.


      • I like Niculescu too and personally I don’t think she was employing tactics. It’s becoming a common theme that Wozniacki will have some kind of disagreement with the umpire when she’s not winning games!


  3. I only had the chance to watch Konta vs Kerber and I thought it was very interesting how Wim and Angie elaborated the first set. He was mentioning that she could have been 3:0 up. He suggested she should play a variety of shots – not “fast and flat because that is what Johanna likes” – and play smart. Also, he said that it doesn’t matter if Angie makes a mistake in her last shot of the point as long as she did play smart. He was encouraging her and demanding to fight and to play a long match because: “you’re fit, healty and you can play tennis over three hours – play a match that lasts 3 hours”. I felt like that was the right thing to say and it worked ๐Ÿ˜€


    • On the other hand, I hope Angie keeps in my mind that, she needs to prime herself for the full season of tennis. 3 hour long matches are fun when you win, but there is a price to pay for the exertion at some point. A tired Angie(mentally and physically) playing her default type defensive tennis is not one I want to watch, that is circa 2017 all over again. She has said she enjoys the coaching partnership, feels kind of comfortable and cozy. Great he believes her fitness is up there because in tennis years, Angie isn’t exactly ‘a spring chicken’. lol…luckily for her, I’m not her coach. I’ve been thinking about Angie and the french open, the possibilities. I may have to wait and see how she does at the Porsche Grand Prix, Stuttgart event.


  4. CiCi (Bellis) is having a great run at the moment. She’s just beaten Karo Pliskova (the defending champion) to make the quarterfinals.


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