The first two matches of the day, taking place at the same time, were the ones that turned out to be the most notable when it comes to third-round action at the Qatar Total Open in Doha – Jelena Jankovic vs. Alisa Kleybanova and Li Na vs. Petra Cetkovska.
The encounter between Jankovic and Kleybanova was especially interesting not only because we’re still keeping a close eye on the Russian trying to get back into the Top 100 after the illness, but also because the two are making their debut as doubles partners this week. The fifth-seeded Jankovic cruised past wildcard Kleybanova 6-1 6-2, meaning that she’s now lost a total of just five games en route to the quarterfinals. The pair was successful in doubles, beating American sixth seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 6-4 6-4 in the second round.
Another match everyone paid special attention to included top seed Li Na, who had not lost a match all year, with the 2014 Shenzhen Open and Australian Open titles to her name. Still, qualifier Petra Cetkovska, ranked 134th in the world, was a greater challenge than the ranking could suggest, she was steady and confident and came back from a break down in the third set to score a 7-6(2) 2-6 6-4 victory. Despite the loss, Li considered her performance was good overall:
She played well. I don’t think I was playing so bad. Maybe, sometimes the wrong choice made me lose a lot of important points.
All the other seeds that had made the third round advanced to the quarterfinals: No.2 Agnieszka Radwanska, No.3 Petra Kvitova, No.4 Sara Errani, No.6 Angelique Kerber and No.7 Simona Halep.(photo: © Neal Trousdale)