World number one Simona Halep made a confident start to her WTA Finals campaign in Singapore today with a straight sets victory over Caroline Garcia.
After a tight start which saw each player break serve, it was the Romanian that made the decisive breakthrough in the ninth game, breaking Garcia and then serving it out, taking a third set point.
The second set was much easier for Halep as the French number one saw her level drop. Halep, who served four aces and hit 13 winners, was particularly impressive on her second serve, winning 71% of the points, compared to Garcia’s 43%. Garcia, who is the surprise package at this year’s tournament, must quickly recover from this defeat and needs to capitalise on her opportunities, after only taking one of her six break point opportunities.
Fourth time lucky for Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki was in a confident mood in her opening match, defeating and out-of-sorts Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-0 in just one hour.
Going into Monday’s match-up, Wozniacki had failed to get the better over her Ukrainian opponent in three previous appearances, most recently in the Rogers Cup final where Svitolina dominated to a 6-4 6-0 win. However, in Singapore, the tables were truly turned as the former world number one dominated under the pressure.
Wozniacki, who many don’t believe has much of a chance at this year’s tournament, won an impressive 16 winners en route to the victory and committed just five unforced errors, compared to Svitolina’s 18. The Ukrainian couldn’t have made a worse debut at the WTA’s end of season tournament and will be disappointed with her performance. She will face Garcia in a must-win match-up on Wednesday, while Wozniacki takes on Halep.
Williams and Ostapenko in must-win tie
Tuesday’s play opens with Venus Williams taking on Jelena Ostapenko, who both need to win to realistically keep their hopes alive of making the semi finals. Williams won their only encounter at Wimbledon this year and goes into the match as the slight favourite. In the second match of the day, Karolina Pliskova takes on Garbine Muguruza in the battle of the former number ones. The bookies are struggling to separate these two, although it’s the Czech with the better head to head record, leading 6-2.