WTA Doha 2017 – Caroline Wozniacki in, Angelique Kerber out

The weather has not generally cooperated in Doha this week as the tournament lags a day behind schedule.

Angelique Kerber was a high-ranked casualty on Thursday at the 2017 WTA Doha event. The former World No. 1 has been in a bit of a free fall since she took over top spot back in September. There was some buzz about her possibly getting back to the top of the world in the weeks ahead, however she doesn’t seem to be enjoying tennis right now. Kerber went out in the 2nd round at Doha, losing to Daria Kasatkina in three sets.

Kasatkina was among a large contingent of WTA athletes that had to try and pull double duty in the women’s draw. The rain has been in Doha all week, washing out the schedule and destroying the normal one-match-per-day routine. After Kasatkina booked her spot in the quarters through Kerber, she faced Monica Puig after some rest. However, their match paused for the night at one set a piece and on serve early in the decider.

The top half of the draw doesn’t actually have a seeded player remaining. Lauren Davis, a titlist from earlier this season in the South Pacific, eliminated sixth-seeded Elena Vesnina. Caroline Wozniacki also defeated a seed as she bested Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets. Wozniacki and Davis attempted their match, however it was quickly suspended as the poor weather continued in Doha.

Karolina Pliskova remains the highest-seeded player remaining in the draw and, as a two seed, she looms very large for the final and title. The Czech national is into the quarters where she will face Shuai Zhang of China. Zhang previously eliminated Garbine Muguruza, the 5th seed in the event. Also alive in the bottom half of the draw is Dominika Cibulkova, the only player that has booked her spot in the tournament semifinals thus far.

Accordingly, the situation is great for Cibulkova at this point. She’s comfortable in the semifinals while other remaining players in the Doha draw will have to win their quarterfinal match on Friday (weather permitting). Cibulkova is in a position where all but she will be playing multiple matches a day to get the tournament back on schedule. The conditions are right for her to win a title and she has emerged as the 2nd favorite (source: bwin).

Shane Lambert