WTA Tour

Cibulkova through but rain wins again at Qatar Open

2017-02-15 21:56
Dominika Cibulkova (Getty)

Doha - Three players reached the quarter-finals of a soggy Qatar Open Wednesday during another rain-affected day which left top seed Angelique Kerber still waiting to play her first match.

Number three seed Dominika Cibulkova, Zhang Shuai and Monica Puig were all able to complete their matches -- in fact, both Zhang and Puig played two matches on Wednesday -- to make their way through to the last eight.

But for the rest of the field it was another frustrating day as Qatar continued to suffer some of its worst weather in years.

The continual rain means that Kerber faces the prospect of playing two matches on Thursday if she wins her second round match. The former world number one had received a bye for the first round.

She will start against Daria Kasatkina of Russia at 0800 GMT.

The winner of that match faces Olympic gold medal winner Puig later on in the day, weather permitting.

Also playing on Thursday will be great friends Agnieszka Radwanska, the number four seed, and Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki in a last 16 clash.

The pair made it out onto centre court only for the rain to intervene again without a single game being played.

Of the few matches that were completed, Cibulkova's clash against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was the pick.

The Slovakian won in three sets, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 and admitted afterwards it had been a hard match.

"I knew it's going to be a tough one, especially now," said Cibulkova. "She's in great form. She played quarter-finals in Australian Open.

"When she's in good form, it's going to be really tough."

Spain's Garbine Muguruza, the number five seed, was the biggest casualty of the day, losing to Zhang 6-7 (7/3), 6-3, 5-7.

Like Zhang, Muguruza was playing her second match of the day having earlier breezed past Turkey's Cagla Buyukakcay in her first round match, 6-3, 6-2.

"I woke up thinking that I was going to have a very tough day," said French Open champion Muguruza.

"I played pretty good the first match... the second one, I think Zhang played very well.

"Honestly, the conditions were difficult. We were in a court where there was another court next to us. There was a lot of wind. She was finding her shots."

Muguruza is the highest seed to go out.

Puerto Rican Puig cruised through her first match on Wednesday thrashing Germany's Laura Siegemund 6-0, 6-1.

She was then one set all with Yulia Putintseva, before the Kazakh retired with a thigh injury with the score at 2-1 to Puig in the third.

Earlier Putintseva won through against the number seven seed, Timea Bacsinszky, after the Swiss herself pulled out with a thigh injury.

The forecast for Thursday is for more rain.

Read more on:    wta tour  |  qatar open  |  dominika cibulkova  |  tennis
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