By Chris Oddo | Wednesday February 15, 2017
The Qatar Total Open in Doha lost in its mad scramble to get the second round completed—but it did finish the first round and got a lot closer to getting back on schedule despite more rain on Wednesday.
The victory was the fifth Top 10 triumph of Zhang’s career and it sets up a quarterfinal with either No.2-seeded Karolina Pliskova or France’s Caroline Garcia. Garcia upended American Madison Brengle on Wednesday, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Rain cancelled several key matchups late in the day on Wednesday in Doha, but not before a few players were able to cruise through two rounds and into the quarterfinals.
China’s Zhang Shuai was the biggest winner of the day. The 28-year-old World No.31 won two rounds, defeating Timea Babos in straight sets in the first round before upending No.5-seeded Garbine Muguruza in a three-set battle to reach the quarterfinals.
Pliskova, one of four players to receive opening-round byes in Doha, has yet to play a single point, along with top-seeded Angelique Kerber and No.4-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska,
Monica Puig was another player to go through to the quarterfinals in spite of the difficult weather. The Puerto Rican won twice, defeating Germany’s Laura Siegemund in first-round action before advancing when Yulia Putintseva was forced to withdraw due to injury in the third set of their second-round encounter, trailing 2-1 in the third set.
Putintseva had advanced when No.7-seeded Timea Bacsinszky withdrew, trailing 6-1, 0-0 earlier on Wednesday.
No.3-seeded Dominika Cibulkova battled past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, in two hours and 14 minutes to claim her spot in the quarterfinals where she will face either Barbora Strycova or Samantha Stosur.
Cibulkova has now won five of six against Pavlyuchenkova, and three in a row.
There were some key second-round matchups that did not get completed on Wednesday as rain cancelled all remaining matchups late in the evening.
Daria Kasatkina will face top-seeded Kerber early on Thursday, and No.4-seeded Radwanska will square off with her longtime rival and friend Caroline Wozniacki. The Dane holds the 9-6 lifetime edge over Radwanska in their previous 15 meetings.
Wozniacki eased past Kiki Bertens in straight sets in first-round action, while Kasatkina got past Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu in three.
In other first-round action, American Lauren Davis upset Roberta Vinci in straight sets, while Russia’s Elena Vesnina defeated American Christina McHale in a third-set tiebreaker. Vesnina and Davis will meet in the second round on Thursday with the winner facing the Radwanska-Wozniacki winner in the quarterfinals.
See the full—and crazy—order of play here: