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Hsieh & Peng March Into SFs

On an otherwise dramatic day in the doubles at the Qatar Total Open, new World No.1 Peng Shuai and her partner Hsieh Su-Wei delivered a dominant display to move into the semifinals.

Published February 14, 2014 12:11

Hsieh & Peng March Into SFs
Peng Shuai, Hsieh Su-Wei

DOHA, Qatar - Twenty-four hours after being confirmed as the new World No.1, it was business as usual for Peng Shuai, who, alongside partner Hsieh Su-Wei, moved into the semifinals of the Qatar Total Open.

Hsieh and Peng, the No.2 seeds, needed just 50 minutes to see off Klara Zakopalova and Monica Niculescu, 61 61, on Friday afternoon and will next face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Nadia Petrova.

Having missed out on the chance to rise to the top of the rankings at the Australian Open, Peng's run in Doha will finally see her leapfrog Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci on Monday, and she is eager to crown the achievement with yet another piece of silverware.

"We've really enjoyed playing here this week," Peng said. "It's our first time in the semifinals in Doha and, for sure, it's really exciting.

"It's going to be tough in the semis but we will keep trying our best and hopefully we can end the week as champions."

In contrast to Hsieh and Peng's routine win, Pavlyuchenkova and Petrova's passage could hardly have been more dramatic; they saved two match points - after squandering five of their own - before finally seeing off No.4 seeds Cara Black and Sania Mirza, 46 64 1412.

The Russians were not the only team to pull off an escapology act, though. Defending champions and top seeds Errani and Vinci came within a point of defeat on three occasions before somehow getting past wildcards Jelena Jankovic and Alisa Kleybanova, 46 62 1513

Meeting them in the semifinals will be another team that has tasted past success in Doha. Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik lifted the title in 2011 - as well as reaching the final of the WTA Championships during its three-year residency in the city - and after a slow start ran out 75 62 winners over Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova.

"It was really a great comeback from us as we were trailing 1-5 in the first set and they had a couple of chances, but we stayed strong and turned the match around," Srebotnik said. "We're happy with the way we finished the match and hopefully we can take this momentum through to the semis."

"We are happy to be through to the semifinals and we're looking forward to going even further," Peschke added. "We always like to come back here because we have some great memories of the WTA Championships and we've always played well together in Doha."

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