By Chris Oddo | Thursday February 16, 2017
Russian 19-year-old Daria Kasatkina took out Angelique Kerber for the second time in as many tries on Thursday in Doha to reach the quarterfinals.
Earlier on Thursday Caroline Wozniacki defeated No.4-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, 7-5, 6-3, to improve to 10-6 lifetime against the Pole. Wozniacki will face American Lauren Davis in the quarterfinals later on Thursday if weather permits.
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Kerber has struggled to find her sterling form this year, and though she rallied to take the middle set without the loss of a game, she dropped the first four games of the decider and could not recover, falling 6-4, 0-6, 6-4.
The World No.2 has now lost four of eight matches in 2017, and she has yet to face a player in the Top 10. The German fell to Kasatkina for the second time in as many months despite winning 50 percent of the overall points in the match.
Kerber entered the season as the WTA’s No.1 player after a season that saw her go 63-18 with two major titles, but she has since been overtaken by this year’s Australian champion Serena Williams at the top of the rankings.
Kasatkina moved on to face Monica Puig in the quarterfinals and took the first set 6-4 before rain halted play at 3-3 in the second set.
Davis beat No.6-seeded Elena Vesnina, 7-5, 6-2 on Thursday.
No.3-seeded Dominika Cibulkova claimed a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Samantha Stosur in Thursday’s first quarterfinal. Cibulkova won 15 of 22 second-serve points to win for the first time against Stosur in six tries.
The victory was Cibulkova’s 400th win (at all professional levels):
In other action on Thursday at the Qatar Total Open, No.2-seeded Karolina Pliskova fired 12 aces to defeat France’s Caroline Garcia, 7-5, 6-2. Garcia won 26 of 31 first-serve points in the match but still was broken twice by Pliskova, who saved the only two break points she faced.
Pliskova is slated to face China’s Zhang Shuai in the quarterfinals.