Sam Stosur takes on Monica Niculescu this afternoon in the quarter-finals of the WTA Doha Open.
Stosur should be pleased with her start in Doha this week, having emerged from her early-season rut to reach the quarter-finals. The Aussie took on Petra Cetkovska on Thursday and dismissed the Czech in two straightforward sets (6-3 6-2).
Cetkovska had entered this match off of the back of a two-set win over Ana Ivanovic, so it’s fair to say that Stosur did a great job of avoiding a potential upset.
The third seed will now face Monica Niculescu for a place in the final four. The Romanian was confronted with a sturdy challenge from Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko on Thursday, but she pulled through with a 7-6 6-4 win.
Niculescu was the better player throughout, but Bondarenko managed to stay within touching distance throughout the match.
Stosur will be the favourite here, and her 2-0 head-to-head record against the world No. 31 adds weight to any assumptions that she’ll win. Both of her victories over Niculescu were finished in straight sets, and it looks like the Romanian will need to adapt her gameplan in order to get any closer to the prestigious Doha title.
Prediction: Stosur in two.