World No.1 Storms into Quarterfinals
16 Feb 2012

DOHA: World No.1 and the top seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus Thursday

stormed into the quarterfinals of the US $ 2.2 million Qatar Total Open

with a straight-set demolition of Simona Halep of Romania.,

Despite trailing 1-3 in the first set, Azarenka reeled off 11 games

thereafter before sealing the match 6-3, 6-1 in 80 minutes of power


It was her 14th consecutive win this season. Azarenka won titles in

Sydney and the Australian Open in Melbourne last month.

"I started really slow but I am glad I turned it around afterwards,"

Azarenka said "I kept my composure. I love coming to Doha. It is a

great event," she added.

In the quarterfinals on Friday, Azarenka will play Yanina Wickmayer of

Belgium. On Thursday, Wickmayer crushed Ksenia Pervak of Kazhakstan

6-4, 6-0.

Wickmayer, who had never played Pervak on the Tour before their clash

on Thursday, struggled in the first set but later wasted little time in

sealing the match in 68 minutes.

Winner of three career singles titles, Wickmayer fired 2 aces.

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, seeded fourth in Doha, saved a set point

in the first before racing away to victory against Varvara Lepchenko of

the USA.

The third-round clash lasted 90 minutes on the Centre Court. Lepchenko

broke Radwanksa in the nine game to go up 5-4 in the first set but the

Polish star fought back by winning the next three games in succession.

In the second set, Radwanksa crushed Lepchneko with easy, cruising to


"Actually, she was playing really well in the first set. I did not play

well but she did and took the lead as well," Radwanska said. "I lost my

serve also but then I fought for each point. I am happy to come through

by fighting on court. I won the first set at the end of it all," she

added. "I stayed focused in the second set. I did well in the second

set. I think it is enjoyable to come and play here,"

Radwanska said.

In the quarterfinals, Radwanska will play Christina McHale of the US.

McHale on Thursday rallied from a set down to beat Shahar Peer of

Israel. McHael won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in 2 hours and 11 minutes. The

19-year-old American fired 3 aces.

In another match Thursday, Monica Niculescu of Romania beat Kateryna

Bondarenko of Ukraine. Niculesco won 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in 1 hour 55