Daria Kasatkina does it again! After stunning then world No.1 Angelique Kerber in the second round of the Apia International Sydney in January, the Russian repeated the feat in February, eliminating the German in the second round of the Qatar Total Open in Doha.
The second-ranked Kerber wasted all her six break point opportunities in the opening set, allowing her opponent to take advantage first, but then responded by serving Kasatkina a bagel in the second set. The world No.32 from Togliatty regrouped in the decider, kicking it off with a lead 3-0 and then closing out victory to secure a quarterfinal meeting with Monica Puig later in the day. Final result: 6-4 0-6 6-4.
The Kasatkina vs. Puig quarterfinal turned out to be tortured by rain, as bad weather conditions forced three rain delays, eventually pushing the match to Friday at the scoreline showing 4-6 7-5 2-1 for Puig.
Caroline Wozniacki made the quarters by ousting fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5 6-3 and then returned to the court to play against Lauren Davis, who had eliminated sixth seed Elena Vesnina 7-5 6-2 in her earlier Thursday’s encounter, but the rain messed up with that match as well and only one game was played. Second seed Karolina Pliskova recorded a straightforward 7-5 6-4 victory over Caroline Garcia in the second round, but didn’t get to even start her quarterfinal against Zhang Shuai because of the rain. Dominika Cibulkova is the only player already through to the semifinals, having defeated Samantha Stosur for the first time in their six meetings and for her 400th career win, 7-5 6-4.