We’ve reached the quarterfinal stage at the WTA Qatar Total Open in Doha. It’s been an interesting week with surprising upsets. The much anticipated clash between World #1 Ashleigh Barty and the hottest player on tour, Elena Rybakina was not to be. Rybakina was forced to withdraw with an abductor injury.
After a shaky start to the year, Amanda Anisimova was starting to find some good form, poised for a deep run in Doha. Unfortunately, the 17-year-old American withdrew ahead of her third round clash with Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova. In a statement, Anisimova stated she was not feeling well.
In other third round action, Ons Jabeur scored her biggest career win, shocked Karolina Pliskova. The Tunisian rising star outlasted the 2017 champion, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to punch her ticket to the quarterfinals. Jabeur next plays Petra Kvitova for a spot in the semifinals.
Here’s a look at the quarterfinal matches. Who’ll reach the semis?
WTA Doha Quarterfinal Predictions
Zheng Saisai vs Aryna Sabalenka
Head to head: Zheng 2-1 Sabalenka
Zheng Saisai’s run in Doha has been remarkable, albeit difficult. In three rounds, she’s faced two seeded players. Both Marketa Vondrousova and Kiki Bertens pushed the Chinese to a decider. Yet, Zheng found a way through. It’s been a gritty, determined performance hallmarked by stellar defense. Across the net, Sabalenka has spent less time on the court, and has been hitting with precision and power. Zheng’s ability to retrieve will all but disappear against Sabalenka’s power. If the Belarusian can maintain the control and consistency, expect a straight sets win.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Belinda Bencic
Head to head: Kuznetsova 1-3 Bencic
Looking at the history between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Belinda Bencic, it clearly favors the Swiss. In fact, Kuznetsova’s only win was a result of a retire. Bencic has been returning exceptionally well and converting on break point opportunities. What should have been a difficult match was an easy day at the office for the Swiss. It’s hard to pick against her at this point.
Prediction: Bencic in 2
Ons Jabeur vs Petra Kvitova
Head to head: Jabeur 0-1 Kvitova
Ons Jabeur upset the #3 seed Karolina Pliskova to earn her spot in the quarterfinals. Yet, the biggest win of her career (by ranking) may have come at a cost. At 4-2 in the third set, it was obvious that Jabeur was suffering a hamstring injury as she grimaced and grabbed her thigh. If she’s sufficiently recovered, this should be a terrific battle. Petra Kvitova has endured two tough, three set matches. The Czech has the ability to endure another. I doubt the Tunisian does, and I wouldn’t rule out an injury withdrawal quite yet.
Prediction: Kvitova in 2
Ashleigh Barty vs Garbine Muguruza
Head to head: Barty 2-1 Muguruza
Garbine Muguruza’s form continues to improve. Indeed, she’s playing at a much higher level than 2019. While the Spaniard continues to gain momentum and build confidence, she’s not yet reached the level to truly challenge Ashleigh Barty.
Prediction: Barty in 2
Main Photo from Getty.