Karolina Pliskova demonstrated her intentions of winning the WTA Finals with an impressive 6-2 6-2 victory over Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza on day three in Singapore.Embed from Getty Images
The Czech was dominant throughout, winning 61% of points, and raced to a 5-2 lead before taking a second set point on the Spaniard’s fourth service game. In her second match of the tournament, Pliskova once again looked impressive on her serve, and while she didn’t hit any aces, she won 68% of her first service points and 65% on the second serve.
In a tennis masterclass, Pliskova asserted the pressure and raced into a 5-0 lead in set two. Muguruza looked like a shadow of the player that was touted the pre-tournament favourite, but was able to dig deep and save three match points (from 0-40) and even broke the Czech’s serve to take it to 5-2. However, the Spaniard offered her opponent another 0-40 lead and this time Pliskova took her chance to take the match 6-2 6-2.
The victory extends the Czech’s head to head record over Muguruza to 7-2 as she qualifies for the semi-finals – impressive given that this is her debut at the end of season showpiece.
Williams overcomes enduring Ostapenko hurdle
Venus Williams got her first victory of the tournament with a 7-5 6-7 7-5 victory over Jelena Ostapenko, in one of Williams’ longest ever matches in her career after 3 hours and 15 minutes of play.Embed from Getty Images
The slow court suited neither player as they both exchanged an astonishing 20 breaks of serve over the course of the match. Williams was immediately broken in the opening game, but broke back immediately. After trading three more breaks, it was Ostapenko that took the initiative and held to take a 5-3 lead. However, Williams was able to break back and forced Ostapenko to serve at 6-5. The American was able to save a game point and eventually forced another break point to take the opening set.
The second set had a similar routine and saw another six breaks of serve. Once again Ostapenko was unable to serve it out and Williams managed to take the set to a tie break. However the tie break saw an unbelievable turn of events with neither player able to take command, until the young Latvian won a point on her serve to lead 4-2. As Venus’ serving struggles continued, it was Ostapenko who took her first set point to take the breaker 7-3.
If fans thought set three would be more stable, they were quickly proven wrong as they saw Williams force five break points on the opening game. However this time Ostapenko was able to hold and Venus then served to love to make it 1-1. Six breaks of serve followed and then Venus held at 5-5, before breaking Ostapenko and serving it out to take the final set and the match.Embed from Getty Images
Ostapenko once again played daring tennis and hit an incredible 48 winners. However, she also hit 40 unforced errors and 13 double faults and you feel she must work on honing these faults in if she is going to become a permanent member of the top 10. Williams, on the other hand, showed the fight and determination that was perhaps missing in that Wimbledon final and this victory will give her confidence going into her final match against Garbine Muguruza, in what is now a must win for both players.
Red Group set for another day of drama
Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki open up play on day four tomorrow following both players’ efficient displays in Monday’s opener in the Red Group. A win for either player could seal a semi-final berth. This will be followed by Elina Svitolina and Caroline Garcia, who are both looking to get off the mark in Singapore. Play starts at 7.30pm local time.