Qatar TotalEnergies Open: Naomi Osaka loses in quarters as Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina progress | Tennis News

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Naomi Osaka was defeated in straight sets by Karolina Pliskova to end her run at the quarter-final stage at the Qatar Open.

It took Pliskova just under two hours to secure the 7-6 (6) 7-6 (5) victory over Osaka, meaning she has now won nine matches over 10 days.

Pliskova was down 5-3 in the first set but rallied to bring it back to 5-5, Osaka then saving the set point for 6-5 before Pliskova managed to convert her second set point to bring it to 7-6.

The second set then went to a tiebreak, Osaka fighting back from 3-0 down to bring it to 5-5. However, Pliskova then proved too strong and showed just enough to take a gripping victory.

Pliskova will now face Iga Swiatek in the semi-finals, who she is yet to beat.

First seed Swiatek cruised to a 6-4 6-0 victory over Victoria Azarenka to book her spot in the semi-finals and keep her hopes of a back-to-back in Doha alive.

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Iga Swiatek defeated Victoria Azarenka in straight sets to book her spot in the semi-finals of the Qatar Open

Swiatek took one hour and 14 minutes to beat the two-time Doha champion and is now up to 11 straight match wins at the event.

Swiatek is bidding to become the first player on the WTA Tour to win a tournament three consecutive times since Serena Williams accomplished the feat at the Miami Open in 2013-15.

“I felt like I started a little bit playing too aggressively maybe, but then I found my rhythm and the proper way to play,” Swiatek said after toppling Azarenka.

“I kept it till the end of the match. I’m happy that I could analyze during the match and then take a lesson from that.”

Rybakina stays on track for third title of season

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Highlights of the quarter-final clash between Elena Rybakina and Leylah Fernandez

Third seed Elena Rybakina took time to get going but secured a 6-4 6-2 victory over Leylah Fernandez to set up a meeting with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and stay on track for her third title of the season.

Rybakina, who has lifted the Brisbane and Abu Dhabi trophies this year, dropped serve twice at the start of the clash but the 24-year-old stemmed the flow of errors from her racket and won five games in a row from 4-1 down to claim the opening set.

Fernandez showed more fight in the second set, but the 2021 US Open runner-up could not prevent former Wimbledon champion Rybakina from grabbing two more breaks and powering to victory on the back of some big hitting.

“It was a difficult match. I didn’t start the set well. It took me some time to get used to Leylah’s ball,” Rybakina said after clinching a joint tour-leading 14th win of the season.

“She plays very different. Also a lefty. I’m really happy I managed to win the first one. After that, it was a bit easier to start the second.”

Up next for the Moscow-born Kazakh is a clash with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after the unseeded Russian reached the Doha semi-finals for the first time following a 7-5 6-4 win over American qualifier Danielle Collins.

“Hopefully it’s going to be a great match to see. We know each other very well on the court and off the court. Hopefully I can recover and show some good tennis,” Rybakina added.

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