Garbiñe Muguruza, who recalled Conchita Martinez as an assistant in her staff for the Middle East tournaments, Indian Wells and Miami, is the first player to clinch a berth in the third round. The Spanish No.1 shook off some of her early season doubts and gained a 6-3 6-4 win over Duan Ying-Ying. The Chinese No.105 reserved her best tennis to come back from 1-5 and save seven match points in the second set but didn't manage to avoid the 12th straight defeat against a Top 10 players in as many matches.
Making the fourth appearance at Qatar Total Open, Muguruza is one win away to repeat her best result here, the quarter-finals she reached in 2016 (l. Petkovic). The Spaniard, in her first tournament since the second round upset at Australian Open, has not lost to a player ranked outside Top 100 since 2016 Wimbledon, when No.124 Cepelova shocked her in the second round. She now awaits one among Mertens, Babos, Sakkari or Cirstea.
Petra Kvitova continued to shine. Two time Wimbledon champion completed her eighth straight win and clinched the 360th main draw career victory as she dismissed Cagla Buyucakcay 6-0 6-3.
Buyukakcay made a career breakthrough in Doha back in 2016, when she upset then-World No.7 Lucie Safarova, and later that year she became the first Turkish player to win a WTA title in Istanbul.
Making the fifth main draw appearance at Qatar Total Open, Kvitova was just too strong for the world No.160 who last week shocked Jelena Ostapenko in her first top victory. Kvitova, whose last loss to a player ranked outside Top 150 dates back at 2017 Cincinnati (to No.151 Stephens in the second round) hit four aces and served out the match in 56 minutes.
On her way to the fourth quarterfinal in Doha, Kvitova will face the former World No.2 and longtime rival, Agnieszka Radwanska. Kvitova leads the head-to-head 6-5, but the Pole has won the last three, most recently at the 2016 Connecticut Open in New Haven.
Kristina Mladenovic maintained her return to form with her maiden main draw win in Doha. The Frenchwoman comfortably beat 6-2 6-4 Peng Shuai, one of four Chinese women in the main draw here.
The Australian Open doubles champion drove back to Paris at 2AM after the 3-2 win against Belgium in the Fed Cup first round last Sunday to catch a 7:50AM flight to Doha. She confessed to feel sore and jet-lagged this morning but on court she used an aggressive masterplan that led to the victory thanks to 21 winners to 22 unforced errors.
Peng, without a main draw win so far in 2018, fell in the first round here for the second year in a row after suffering the 100th defeat to a top 20 ranked opponent. Mladenovic cruised through a first career meeting in the second round with Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova.
No.10 seed Johanna Konta avenged a shock defeat from the year's first Grand Slam at the Qatar Total Open as she knocked out American qualifier Bernarda Pera, who beat her at Australian Open clinching the first Top 10 win of her career, 7-6(5) 6-1. The World No.113 broke in the 11th game of the first set, and built a 30-0 lead but the Brit sealed four points in a row, forced a tiebreak and the match completely changed.
Madison Keys raced through the first set and after an exchange of breaks offered a phenomenal return game with a couple of blistering forehand winners to serve for the match at 5-4 and sealed a 6-1 6-4 win over Wang Qiang, who owns a 4-16 career record against Top 20 ranked opponents. Playing the first tournament since reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals last month, Keys avoided the worst-by-ranking defeat since 2017 Wuhan.