Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza started their WTA Finals campaign with impressive straight sets victories over Venus Williams and Jelena Ostapenko respectively.
Embed from Getty Images
In a group of three former world number ones, both Pliskova and Muguruza looked impressive in their opening group matches, and it was the Czech who opened the WTA Finals with a decisive 6-2 6-2 victory over Williams.
Pliskova hit five aces and won 78% of her first service points en route to victory and will be hoping to continue her impressive serving throughout the tournament in Singapore. Williams, who is making her first appearance at the end of year showpiece event in five years, struggled with her second serve throughout, winning only 24% of points and double faulting six times.
Muguruza gets revenge
Garbine Muguruza had a bit more work on her hands against French Open champion Ostapenko, but hung on to claim a 6-3 6-4 win and get perfect revenge following the Latvian’s victory in the Quarter Finals at the Wuhan Open.Embed from Getty Images
After a topsy turvy opening set, which saw five breaks of serve, Muguruza found her rhythm and served the set out before racing into a 5-1 lead in the second. However, Ostapenko, who has won many fans over with her fearless shot-making, rallied back and broke Muguruza as she was serving for the match at 5-2. This followed a hold to love and despite saving two match points (and recovering from 40-15), Ostapenko wasn’t able to save a third as Muguruza clinched the opening win.
Ostapenko hit an impressive 21 winners in the match but also made 25 unforced errors, in a game that could have swung either way. The French Open champion will be hoping to convert her unforced errors into winners against Venus Williams on Tuesday, while Muguruza takes on Pliskova.
Halep opens Monday’s order of play
World number one Simona Halep starts her WTA Finals campaign against unlikely qualifier and the most in-form player in the draw, Caroline Garcia on Monday. This will be followed by Elina Svitolina and Caroline Wozniacki, in what is probably the most open and intriguing of the two groups.