Doha PHOTOS: Sabalenka, Kuznetsova, Kvitova, Barty move into semifinals

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Semifinal pairs are set at the Qatar Total Open: Aryna Sabalenka vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Petra Kvitova vs. Ashleigh Barty. Our photographer Jimmie48 attended all quarterfinal matches.

The first to advance was ninth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, coming from a set and a break down in the third set to beat Zheng Saisai on a very windy day in Doha, 3-6 7-6(2) 6-3. Unseeded Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated fourth seed Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-4 and scored 19th career win in Doha, the most match wins in tournament history.

Eighth seed Petra Kvitova squeezed past Ons Jabeur 7-6(2) 7-6(4), the Tunisian who was competing on a new career-high ranking of No.44. The 2018 Qatar Total Open champion Kvitova recovered from being a break down twice in the second set and also saved two set points to win in straight sets and record her 15th win in Doha and ninth in a row.

In the final match of the day, top seed Ashleigh Barty reached her third semifinal of the season with a 6-1 6-7(4) 6-2 victory over seed No.11 Garbine Muguruza, who was playing her fifth consecutive quarterfinal this year. Barty dominated the first set, then Muguruza became more assertive in the second set and capitalized on her opponent’s early lapse in the tiebreak, while in the decider which featured four breaks of serve, Barty proved to be a little bit more consistent.

Friday’s Qatar Total Open schedule opens with the meeting between Sabalenka and Kuznetsova at 5 p.m. local time, followed by Barty vs. Kvitova.


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