The third round of the Qatar Total Open saw six singles matches played instead of eight with walkovers given by 14th seed Elena Rybakina and Amanda Anisimova. Quarterfinal play in doubles also was completed with one big upset highlighting the action.
Barty, Kuznetsova advance via walkover; Jabeur shocks Pliskova
Citing an abductor strain, the 14th seeded Rybakina gave top seed Ashleigh Barty a walkover into the quarterfinals. Anisimova cited a lack of fitness in a statement, giving two-time finalist Kuznetsova a spot in the last eight.
Ons Jabeur pulled off the most notable result of the day, stunning third seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The Tunisian broke in the first game of the opening set and never looked back, not facing a break point while serving out the set to love.
A single break also decided the second set, this time in Pliskova's favor and saving a break point in the fourth game, she roared through the remainder of the set to level the match. The marathon sixth game of the final set was the key as Jabeur gained the break and closed out the match despite physical issues.
Bencic, Kvitova, Sabalenka among others moving on
Elsewhere, fourth seed Belinda Bencic saw off Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 6-3 to advance to a quarterfinal against Kuznetsova while eighth seed Petra Kvitova got past Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 and will next face Jabeur. Seventh seed Kiki Bertens was the latest victim of Saisai Zheng with the Chinese winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Zheng faces ninth seed Aryna Sabalenka in the final eight, with the Belarusian rolling past 15th seed Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-0 while 11th seed Garbine Muguruza punched her quarterfinal ticket against Barty with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Dayana Yastremska.
In quarterfinals doubles action, top seeds Barbora Strycova and Hsieh Su-wei cruised past Bencic and Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-2. Second seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic were also victorious, knocking out fifth seeds Nicole Melichar and Xifan Yu 6-3, 6-3.
Ostapenko rebounded from her singles loss to team up with Gabriela Dabrowski to stun third seeds Elise Mertens and Sabalenka 4-6, 6-1, [10-4]. Fourth seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova crushed Cagla Buyukakcay and Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-2.
The semifinals will see Hsieh/Strycova face Krejcikova/Siniakova while Dabrowski/Ostapenko square off with Babos/Mladenovic.