The first of the two women’s semi-final contests at the Qatar Total Open 2014 is set to take place between Top 10 competitors Angelique Kerber and Jelena Jankovic, who each earned straight sets victories to arrive at the final four in Doha. The two previously met on two occasions on the professional tour, with their head-to-head series tied at 1-1.
World No. 9 Angelique Kerber had the easier of the two matches on Friday afternoon, defeating Petra Cetkovska 6-1, 6-0 to cruise into the final four in Doha. The German needed only 50 minutes to secure her victory over the woman who 24 hours previously had toppled Australian Open champion Li Na.
“I think I was playing well today,” Kerber said. “Petra is a great player and yesterday she beat Li Na so I knew it would be tough.”
Kerber played with remarkable consistency during the match, as well as throughout the week in Qatar. In her three matches to date, the No.6 seed is yet to drop a set, carrying on the impressive form she showed during the Fed Cup tie last week. Apart from winning the title, her aim is to improve her game further and remain healthy and injury-free.
“I’m just happy to keep playing well here and also that I won in two sets again. I think the year began very well for me but I’m just trying to improve my game with every match and to stay fit and healthy.”
While Kerber easily disposed of Cetkovska, Jelena Jankovic had a more difficult task in Czech No. 1 Petra Kvitova. While she also earned a straight sets victory, hers was a tougher task, particularly the second set, where she needed three match points to secure the victory. The opening set only lasted a half hour, but Kvitova, who made a comeback to defeat Venus Williams in a third set tiebreak days ago, was not likely to go away easily. The Czech took her first lead in the match with a break up, but Jankovic showed the necessary resiliency and fired back with five consecutive games to earn the victory.
“I’m pretty confident at the moment,” Jankovic said. “I’ve been very focused this week and played very well so far. Against top players, like Petra, you have to be at top of your game to have chance to win. I was just sticking to my game plan and luckily it worked. It’s nice to be back in the semifinals here.”
This marks the third time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, and the second time this year. The world No. 9 dropped a mere three games in their first encounter back in 2012, yet Jankovic won a convincing three set battle in Brisbane earlier this year, giving her the likely momentum for this third encounter. Both competitors have had fantastic weeks on the tour, making this a significantly difficult contest to predict.
More stats for both players here: Jankovic v Kerber matches and stats
Prediction: Jelena Jankovic in Three Sets