Ekaterina Makarova wasn't feeling well before her Doha match against Petra Kvitova, but she played. She played really, really well, as did Kvitova, who actually looked like her 2011 self, which was a stunning sight. During the first set, Makarova had a trainer check her blood pressure, and then she carried on. Kvitova would go on to win that set 6-4, and then Makarova retired.
What a shame, because the first set was really a high quality affair, and it looked as though one of the best matches of the season was in progress. Too bad for Makarova (why, oh why, doesn't she have a higher ranking?), but it was a relief to see Kvitova play at the level we used to see her play, and to show the enthusiasm she used to display,
The Czech star's next opponent will be Nadia Petrova, who defeated Hsieh Su-Wei in the second round. Sam Stosur, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Daniela Hantuchova were among today's winners. Christina McHale beat Lucie Safarova, and Urszula Radwanska defeated Roberta Vinci.
Caroline Wozniacki had to deal with an in-form Sorana Cirstea in the first set of their second round match. Cirstea had set points, but couldn't convert. She was playing well, but Wozniacki had an answer for everything Cirstea gave her. In the second set, Cirstea faded away, as she is prone to do. Wozniacki won, 7-6, 6-0. The former world number 1 will have her work cut out for her in the next round, however, when she faces Mona Barthel. If Bartel continues to serve at a high level, she'll be able to give Wozniacki some trouble.
Wozniacki is so steady, and is so able to wear down opponents, it will be interesting to see if Barthel can sustain the confidence she must surely have after her Paris victory. Barthel practically demolished Angelique Kerber in the second round, and is manifesting the potential she showed in 2011. Last year, Barthel had a lot of problems, but she has turned everything around.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd seeds all advanced in doubles play in Doha.