World number one Iga Swiatek needed just 53 minutes to rout Danielle Collins and reach the Doha Open quarterfinals on Wednesday.
The reigning French and US Open champion, playing her first match since a shock last-16 exit at the Australian Open, defeated 42nd-ranked Collins of the United States 6-0, 6-1.
The Polish star will tackle last weekend’s Abu Dhabi champion and world number nine Belinda Bencic for a semifinal spot.
“I felt pretty confident,” said Swiatek who last season kicked off her 37-match win streak in Doha.
“I’m happy that I was kind of composed and from the beginning till the end pretty focused and disciplined with tactics. I didn’t really let Danielle get into the rhythm. I wanted to be aggressive.”
Bencic rallied to defeat Victoria Azarenka 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 after being 6-1, 4-1 down at one stage.
Gauff downs Kvitova
World number six Coco Gauff opened her Doha campaign with a 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) win over two-time champion Petra Kvitova.
Kvitova, the champion in Doha in 2018 and 2021, racked up 21 winners but was undone by 31 unforced errors to Gauff’s 14.
“I felt like I have watched her for a long time, and it was weird playing her in that respect because it’s like almost meeting a celebrity in a way,” Gauff said of two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova.
The 18-year-old Gauff will next face Veronika Kudermetova, who reached her fourth quarterfinal of 2023 with a 6-2, 7-5 defeat of former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.
American second seed Jessica Pegula saved two match points to defeat former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
World number four Pegula was down 5-2 in the third set and faced the match points at 5-4 down, but she recovered to take victory in eight minutes short of two hours.
Pegula will next face Beatriz Haddad Maia after the Brazilian defeated sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 7-6 (9/7)
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