Radwanska, Halep reach Qatar Open semifinals
Feb. 14, 2014
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland earned a third consecutive — and fourth overall — semifinal berth at the Qatar Total Open when she quickly dispatched Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-2, 6-1 on Friday.
Radwanska, who required only 64 minutes to send Wickmayer packing, has had an easy run to the semifinals.
She had a bye in the first round, a quick two-set win over Sorana Cirstea in the second round, and saw Mirjana Lucic-Baroni retire early in the second set of their third round match with a lower back injury.
"I think I've been playing great tennis this week and hopefully I can keep it going tomorrow (Saturday)," Radwanska said. "The shorter the match the better for me."
Radwanska will face Simona Halep of Romania in the semifinal on Saturday.
It was sweet revenge for Halep, who needed only 52 minutes to take care of fourth-seeded Sara Errani of Italy 6-2, 6-0. She lost to Errani 6-1, 6-0 in their only other meeting at the Miami tournament last year.
It was also fortunate for Halep that the match went so quickly, because she says she is playing with a painful Achilles injury.
Fifth-seeded Jelena Jankovic used her quick-stepping style to run ragged over powerful third- seeded Petra Kvitova 6-1, 6-3 to reach her third Doha career semifinal.
"I was playing well and I was confident coming into this match," Jankovic said. "Against a top player like Kvitova you have to play your best game and I was glad I was able to do that today."
It was clear that playing long three-setters against Venus Williams in the second round and Lucie Safarova in the third round zapped Kvitova of the energy to challenge Jankovic.
"I had two great matches, so I still have something positive to take out of here," said Kvitova, who is the defending champion at next week's Dubai tournament. "I wasn't well before this and it would've been hard to lose in the first round, so I go now to Dubai with a positive feeling."
Kvitova seemed on course to rebound in the second set, taking a 2-0 and then 3-1 lead. But from there it was all Jankovic, who won the final five games to set up a semifinal date against sixth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany.
Kerber reached the Doha semifinals with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Czech qualifier Petra Cetkovska in just 50 minutes.
"The mental part is very important in a match like this," Kerber said. "I tried focusing on every point and stayed in the moment, stayed in the match."
Cetkovska was the third straight Czech opponent the hard-hitting Kerber defeated here, beating Karolina Pliskova in the second round, Klara Zakapalova in the third round and Cetkovska in the quarterfinals.
If Jankovic didn't defeat Kvitova, Kerber would've been playing a fourth Czech in the semifinals.
Cetkovska, was clearly drained 24 hours after upsetting top seed and reigning Australian Open Li Na in a competitive three-set match on Thursday.
The only game Cetkovska won in the quarterfinal was when she broke Kerber's serve in the second game of the first set.
Radwanska, Jankovic and Kerber have reached the Doha semifinals without dropping a set.