Doha Friday: And Then There Were Eight
Published February 13, 2014 12:12
 Angelique Kerber (GER #9) vs. [Q] Petra Cetkovska (CZE #134)
Head-to-head: Kerber leads 2-1
While there may be more than 100 places separating them in the rankings, if past form is anything to go by, Angelique Kerber would be wise not to overlook her quarterfinal foe, Petra Cetkovska.
A horrible run of injuries has seen Cetkovska slip from a career-high ranking of No.25 to outside the Top 100, but on Thursday she provided a stunning reminder of what she is capable of when she saw off No.1 seed Li Na in a two-hour, 46-minute third round rollercoaster. This was her eighth Top 10 win in 11 attempts and judging by her post-match comments she is far from done for the tournament.
Kerber was equally impressive, notching up a business-like win over Klara Zakopalova to improve her record in 2014 to 14-4. Despite her busy start to the season, the German is likely to feel fresher than Cetkovska, whose campaign began in qualifying on Saturday.
 Petra Kvitova (CZE #6) vs.  Jelena Jankovic (SRB #8)
Head-to-head: Kvitova leads 2-1
If there was any rustiness in Petra Kvitova's game heading into Doha, it has been well and truly shaken off now following back-to-back three-setters against Venus Williams and Lucie Safarova.
Jelena Jankovic on the other hand has reached the last eight at a canter, and in he third round required little over an hour to see off doubles partner Alisa Kleybanova. In recent years Jankovic's appearances on the doubles court have been increasingly frequent, helping to add extra layers to her counter-punching game.
These improvements saw the Serb finish 2013 as one of the game's form players, posting an impressive run of results that included a win over Kvitova in the semifinals of Beijing.
 Sara Errani (ITA #7) vs.  Simona Halep (ROU #10)
Head-to-head: Errani leads 1-0
Last spring, Sara Errani defeated an out-of-form Simona Halep in two one-sided sets in Miami. However, when the two cross paths again on Friday evening the Italian will be taking on a very different beast.
In the months that have followed since their meeting at Crandon Park, Halep has improved in leaps and bounds, breaking into the Top 10 and winning six titles. The Romanian's deceptively potent game is likely to keep Errani on the back foot and give her every opportunity to showcase that famed foot speed.
Both players have struggled at times this week; Halep dug herself out of a final set hole to see off Kaia Kanepi, while Errani struggled for two sets before finally getting to grips with the wiles of Monica Niculescu.
Also on court...
The other quarterfinal pits No.2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska against a resurgent Yanina Wickmayer, while in the doubles new World No.1 Peng Shuai and her partner Hsieh Su-Wei take on Niculescu and Zakopalova.