The rain has been the unwanted star of the Qatar Open, and it re-appeared on Thursday to wreck further damage on the Order of Play. Dominika Cibulkova was able to beat the rain and get into the semi-finals, but the other players were not so lucky. Hence, with the semi-finals still scheduled for Friday, it means the likes of Karolina Pliskova and Caroline Wozniacki may have to play two matches on Friday- a rescheduled quarter final, and a possible semi-final.
First, there is the small matter of the uncompleted quarter final between Daria Kasatkina and Monica Puig. Spare a thought for young Kasatkina, who began the day with a fine three-set victory over top seed, Angelique Kerber in the second round, only to return a few hours later to confront Olympic champion, Monica Puig in the quarter finals. After several rain interruptions, Kasatkina and Puig split the opening two sets, and must return to complete the decider on Friday morning. Kasatkina and Puig are first up on Centre Court.
Following that match will be the yet-to-begin quarter final between Karolina Pliskova against Shuai Zhang. Pliskova is looking to continue her excellent start to the season, which has already yielded a title in Brisbane, and a career-best quarter final finish at the Australian Open, she also played a massive role in Czech Republic's qualification for the semi-finals of the Fed Cup. It was her marquee victory over Garbine Muguruza that set the Czechs up for victory over Spain. However, Pliskova is not the only woman to have beaten Muguruza in the last week, China's Shuai Zhang also boasts that achievement. Zhang's two victories in Doha are as much as she had managed all year heading into the tournament, but she has managed to transform her aggressive game into results in Qatar. She outhit Timea Babos in the opening round, before doing the same to Muguruza in a three-set second round battle. Pliskova enjoys a 3-0 record over zhang, but the matches have been quite close- the most recent being a 7-6 6-4 victory at Roland Garros. This should be a good contest.
Simultaneously going on with Zhang vs Pliskova is Caroline Wozniack against qualifier Lauren Davis, who will do battle on Court 1 from 1:00pm local time. Although she suffered the disappointment of losing in the first round of the Australian Open, Davis has already won a lot of matches this year- infact, she is one of a handful of ladies who can boast a WTA title this season. Davis was victorious in her first event of the year in Auckland, and she has shaken off an Australian Open first round exit to put herself on the brink of the semi-finals in Doha- having come through the qualifiers. She faces a player in fine form on Friday. Wozniacki was excellent in brushing aside Agnieszka Radwanska on Thursday, combining her trademark defence with good aggression, especially on the backhand win, and if she brings in that form on Friday, she should be too good for Davis in this their first ever career meeting.
The semi-finals are also set for Friday, with the winner of Kasatkina vs Puig taking on either Wozniacki or Davis fom 4:30pm local time , and that will be followed by Cibulkova, who awaits the winner of Pliskova vs Zhang.
Here is the full 2017 Qatar Open Order of Play for Friday, February 17.
Starts at 12:00pm/ 9:00am GMT
Daria Kasatkina (RUS) vs Monica Puig (PUR) [To be concluded; Puig leads 2-1, final set]
Shuai Zhang (CHN) vs Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
Not before 4:30pm/ 1:30pm GMT
Daria Kasatkina (RUS)/Monica Puig (PUR) vs Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)/Lauren Davis (USA)
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) vs Shuai Zhang (CHN)/ Karolina Pliskova
Starts at 1:00pm/ 10:00am GMT
Caroline Wozniacki(GER) vs Lauren Davis (USA)