Doha’s Quarterfinal Thursday featured a felling of all four remaining top-seeds at the Qatar Total Open. Meanwhile, the doubles championship could feature a clash of the draw’s two top teams.
Venus Williams did it again. Last month, she defeated Agnieszka Radwanska in the Fourth round of the Australian Open. With a very similar scoreline and match-time, she did the same today in Doha. Venus jumped out to a quick lead, up an early break, and took the first set 6-4. Like in Melbourne, Radwanska pulled it together in set-2, then faded in the third. Final: 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. The match featured some incredibly long rallies and remarkable shot-making. During our interview, Venus said she thought Agnieszka played even better than in Melbourne, and overall felt lucky to be through to the Semifinals. Next up – Victoria Azarenka, who has yet to win a single set off of Venus in their four previous matches.
Like Venus, Azarenka is playing determined tennis. There were plenty of available distractions in Thursday’s match versus Caroline Wozniacki – from strong, gusty winds on court to a five-minute delay and argument over an undelivered challenge from the Hawk-eye system. While both obviously bothered Wozniacki, it was all business for Victoria, and she crushed the #3-seed 6-3, 6-1. Attempting to discuss the distractions, Vika completely changed the subject – like Novak Djokovic back in January – and gave a pretty decent impression of me. I’ll be honest, I was quite impressed! Time for some Oolong tea.
The top-seed, Petra Kvitova was on fire in the first-set against 9-seed Carla Suarez Navarro — Navarro has played a ton of tennis over the past three weeks. She reached the Antwerp Final, then the Quarterfinals last week in Dubai. She and Muguruza were also in the Dubai doubles draw, playing all the way through to the Final. That’s 16 matches in 18 days…everyone would understand if she fell in two quick sets to the #4 player in the world — But that didn’t happen. Suarez Navarro elevated her game in the second set, completely derailing Petra’s confidence and concentration. Carla won the match 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. That’s her third win over a top-10 opponent this year and her second in as many weeks over Kvitova.
Thursday’s last Quarterfinal featured Antwerp champion and the #6-seed Andrea Petkovic take-on Australian Open doubles champ Lucie Safarova. Struggling with back issues throughout the first set, Andrea simply couldn’t play her best…and Safarova took full advantage, winning 6-2, 6-1. Friday will be Lucie’s first singles Semifinal of 2015. She’s 2-0 lifetime against Suarez Navarro, though they haven’t played since 2012 in Madrid.
In doubles, top-seeds Su-Wei Hseih and Sania Mirza played through to the Semifinals…as did Hao-Ching Chan and Casey Dellacqua. The 4th-seeds, Americans Racquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, advanced to the semi’s with a walkover. After her singles win Thursday, Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the doubles competition (she’d partnered with Kirsten Flipkens for the tournament).
RESULTS. Qatar Total Open 2015. Day Four. Quarterfinal Singles.
 C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d  P. Kvitova (CZE) 3-6, 6-0, 6-3
[WC] V. Azarenka (BLR) d  C. Wozniacki (DEN) 6-3, 6-1
L. Safarova (CZE) vs  A. Petkovic (GER) 6-2, 6-1
 V. Williams (USA) d  A. Radwanska (POL) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
RESULTS. Qatar Total Open 2015. Day Four. Doubles Quaterfinals.
 Su-Wei Hseih (TPE) / Sania Mirza (IND) d Michaella Krajicek (NED) / Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)
 Racquel Kops-Jones (USA) / Abigail Spears (USA) d Victoria Azarenka (BLR) / Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Hao-Ching Chan (TPE) / Casey Dellacqua (AUS) d Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) / Marina Erakovic (NZL)
Friday. Qatar Total Open 2015. Day Five. Singles Semifinals.
 C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs. L. Safarova (CZE)
 V. Williams (USA) vs. [WC] V. Azarenka (BLR)
Friday. Qatar Total Open 2015. Day Five. Doubles Semifinals.
 Su-Wei Hseih (TPE) / Sania Mirza (IND) vs. Hao-Ching Chan (TPE) / Casey Dellacqua (AUS)
 Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) / Elena Vesnina (RUS) vs.  Racquel Kops-Jones (USA) / Abigail Spears (USA)