We’re getting to the business end of Doha with the semi-finals up on Saturday. Unfortunately semi-finals has become singular with semi-final after Simona Halep was forced to pull out of the tournament following her quarter-final win. It’s such a shame because the last four line-up was totally lit! Read on for the highlights from Friday in Doha…
Halep out with a foot injury
Simona Halep won her quarter-final match on Friday against CiCi Bellis, 6-0 6-4. However, she was forced to pull out of the tournament with a foot injury. Halep’s press conference is linked below where she explains the injury and her frustration. Reading between the lines it sounds that she is a major doubt for Indian Wells. It’s such a shame for Simona who has spent the past three years battling injuries at the start of the season. And she has been playing so well! Rest up, Simona.
Kvitova advances as Goerges retires
Petra Kvitova made it 11 wins in a row but not the way she would have wanted. The Czech player was leading 6-4 *2-1 when Goerges was forced to retire. Julia said something at the end to Petra about her making her run 😂! Goerges had looked subdued, yet the retirement did come out of the blue. Kvitova was absolutely dominant on serve and dropped just four points through six service games.
Wozniacki holds firm as world number one
Caroline Wozniacki will extend her reign as world number one after a superb 7-6(4) 1-6 6-3 victory over Angelique Kerber. It was a good match, as demonstrated by the stats, with the pair combining for 83 winners to 59 unforced errors. Kerber was absolutely fuming on the changeover after dropping the opening set, having had break points for a 5-2 lead. The German player recovered well again and even had an early break in the decider. In the end it felt like Wozniacki was rewarded for being the more aggressive player in the crux moments. Hats off to Caroline for the way she closed out the match.
Muguruza’s best win of 2018
Garbiñe Muguruza had a pretty turbulent start to the year with a retirement from her first match in Brisbane and an early exit in Australian Open. The Spaniard has kick-started her year in Doha and earnt her first top ten win of the year with a 3-6 6-1 6-4 victory over Caroline Garcia. This was another gooood match and the third set was quality tennis from both players. Without a shadow of a doubt it was Muguruza’s best display of the year and she now gets a day off before Sunday’s final.
Wozniacki vs. Kvitova for a place in the semi-finals
The only semi-final on Saturday will be played at not before 7pm local time between Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova. Kvitova leads the head-to-head, 7-5, and has won their last three matches in straight sets. Kvitova has been hitting through the tiredness and serving extremely well. If Peak Petra shows up then it’s one way traffic. Wozniacki though will come in with bundles of confidence after a great win vs. Kerber and it was impressive to see her stick to the aggressive gameplan in the big moments. Not a clue who wins this one…
Dubai qualifying starts on Saturday
The qualifying draw is out for Dubai and there are a few surprise names in there – Sara Errani vs. Aryna Sabalenka is definitely the stand-out match!
Timea Bacsinszky has confirmed for Gstaad later this year. Sadly she couldn’t play her home tournament last year due to injury.
And finally ending on good news! Svetlana Kuznetsova is planning a return to the tour at Indian Wells.
Дорогие друзья, на протяжении всего перерыва, образовавшегося из-за травмы кисти, мне было очень приятно читать ваши комментарии о том, как вам меня не хватало на корте, и я действительно чувствовала вашу поддержку. Я вам искренне благодарна. И спешу сообщить, что я начну свои выступления в турнирах Индиан-Уэллс и в Майами. А сейчас пребываю на сборах в Дубае. 💪 Dear friends during the injury break I was very pleased to read your comments about you missing me and definitely felt your support. I'm grateful to all of u. Finally, I'm glad to inform you that I am planning to play in the Indian Wells and Miami. Now I am doing my preparation in Dubai.