Radwanska & Kvitova Through To QFs

Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova kept flying the flag for the favorites at the Qatar Total Open, showing Li Na's exit wouldn't keep them from the quarterfinals of the Premier-level tournament.

Published February 13, 2014 12:13


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DOHA, Qatar - Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova kept flying the flag for the favorites at the Qatar Total Open on Thursday, showing Li Na's exit wouldn't keep them from the quarterfinals.

Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Doha all week, right here on wtatennis.com!

Kvitova had the tougher day at the office, but luckily she had one of her very best serving days in a while - the No.3-seeded Czech fired 15 aces en route to a 76(2) 57 62 win over Lucie Safarova.

"I knew it was going to be a tough match - it's always tough when you're playing a friend, tough on the nerves," Kvitova said. "She plays aggressively like I do, and she has a good serve too, a lefty serve - whenever I play her I know how my opponents feel against me, and that's not a very nice feeling!

"I needed some games to get used to her game but I was able to keep coming back to win the first set, and in the third I felt like Lucie was a little bit tired. So I just took my chance to win the match."

And what about that serve? "I served well, yes," Kvitova added. "I had one window when I did some double faults, but I was really glad with the aces. I didn't see my first serve percentage yet."

The No.2-seeded Radwanska was in a little bit of trouble - a 4-1 first set lead became 4-all before she closed out the first set, 6-4, and she then dropped serve in the first game of the second set - but Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni had to retire in the next game with a low back injury.

Apart from No.1 seed Li's departure at the hands of Czech qualifier Petra Cetkovska, which you can read more about here, it was actually a perfect day for the seeds, with No.4 seed Sara Errani coming back from 62 20 down to beat Monica Niculescu, 26 75 61; No.5 seed Jelena Jankovic beating Russian wildcard Alisa Kleybanova, 61 62; No.6 seed Angelique Kerber beating Klara Zakopalova, 62 63; and No.7 seed Simona Halep wrapping things up under the lights with a 64 61 win over Annika Beck.

Rounding out the final eight was Yanina Wickmayer, who followed up her second round win over No.8 seed Caroline Wozniacki with a streaky 16 62 60 win over Jana Cepelova. Cepelova was up a set and a break at 61 21 and started the next game off with an ace, which must have woken Wickmayer up big time - the Belgian won the next 11 games in a row against the Slovak to advance to the quarterfinals.

As for Li, she doesn't leave empty-handed - regardless of how she did this week she was going to rise to No.2 in the world next week anyway, a personal best and the highest ranking ever for an Asian player, male or female. And it wasn't Cetkovska's first Top 3 win, nor her first win against Li.

Still, a 3-1 third set lead with a point for 4-1 - and 11 double faults - may be tough to assess.

"I don't think I played so badly, but maybe I made some wrong choices that made me lose a lot of points, important points," Li said. "It doesn't matter if you're 3-1 up, or even 5-1 up, if you can't finish the match, your opponent always has a chance to win. I just wasn't able to hang in there today.

"But at least I was fighting on the court, and losing a match isn't just a bad thing, because you can learn a lot. I have some pretty good information now, so I'll start training and will improve for next time."

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