Defending Champ Pliskova dumped out by qualifer Bellis

Defending Qatar Total Open Champion Karolina Pliskova has been knocked out of after being defeated by 18-year old American qualifier Catherine Bellis 6-7, 3-6. 

The first set was a close encounter with both players trading blows. However, it was eventually Bellis who prevailed winning the tiebreak to take the first set 7-6. 

Bellis had played two qualifiers just to get to the first round of the competition and grew in confidence as the second set progressed. An early break of serve helped settled the American competitor's nerves with the 18-year-old serving out the second set 6-3. 

 The victory was a first for Bellis against a top 5 opponent, and the teenager recognised that this was a victory to savour. 

"I think it's definitely a milestone. It's great, but you know, definitely move on to the next one and just start thinking about tomorrow."

A quarter-final against number 2 seed and Australian Open finalist Simona Halep awaits Bellis.