Former World No.1 Naomi Osaka moved into the Qatar TotalEnergies Open quarterfinals on Wednesday after her Round of 16 opponent, World No.37 Lesia Tsurenko, withdrew from their match with an elbow injury.

Osaka, who was on maternity leave for the end of 2022 and all of 2023, is into her first Hologic WTA Tour quarterfinal since she reached the Miami Open final in March of 2022.

Currently ranked No.747, Osaka is the second lowest-ranked woman to reach a WTA 1000 quarterfinal. Sloane Stephens, who was ranked No.934 when she made the 2017 Toronto semifinals, still holds that record.

Since returning to tour in the first week of 2024, Osaka's win-loss record is up to 3-3 for the season (Wednesday's walkover does not count as a win for Osaka or a loss for Tsurenko).

In the quarterfinals, two-time WTA 1000 titlist Osaka will face another former World No.1, Karolina Pliskova, who defeated her fellow Czech Linda Noskova in three sets. Pliskova trailed her younger compatriot 6-3, 5-4 -- when Noskova served for the match -- but turned the 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 match around by winning nine of the last 10 games.

Pliskova, last week's champion in Cluj-Napoca, has now won eight matches in the last nine days, and looks to beat Osaka for the second time this year after ending the four-time Grand Slam champion's first tournament in her return to the Hologic WTA Tour in Brisbane.

Rybakina survives Navarro rally

Also through in three sets was No.3 seed Elena Rybakina, who saw an hour pass by between her first and second match points before eventually defeating No.16 seed Emma Navarro in three sets, 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-4. 

Rybakina had little trouble early in second first tour-level meeting with Navarro, picking up her third straight 6-1 set against the now World No.23 (she won 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of qualifying at the 2019 US Open). The Kazakh looked on course, too, to wrap up the match in two after rallying from 3-1 behind in the set; she led 4-0 in the ensuing tiebreak, and willed herself to match point after dropping five straight points.

But ultimately, she needed 2 hours and 9 minutes to book a spot in the quarterfinals, as she scored the decisive service break at 2-2 in the third and saved two break points in the final game.

The Kazakh needed all of her firepower to move through to the quarterfinals in Doha for the first time. She nearly tripled Navarro's total of winners -- 55 to 20 -- in the match, and served 10 aces. 

"She's improved a lot and it was such a difficult match. I had some opportunities in the second set, but she played really well. For me, physically, it was a little bit more difficult But I'm really happy that I managed to win in the end," Rybakina said afterwards. 

Rybakina next faces 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez, who beat Australian Open finalist and No.5 seed Zheng Qinwen earlier in the day.