Tennis: Ostapenko, Venus, Wozniacki and Garcia win. Pliskova, Muguruza, Halep and Svitolina fall short at the WTA Finals

Caroline Wozniacki is on fire, dishing out bagels in both her matches including against Simona Halep yesterday, the number one player.

 

 

Simona Halep versus Caroline Wozniacki

Simona Halep was helpless against the solid defense and grind of Caroline and swept away 6-0, 6-2 by the error-free play of Wozniacki at the WTA Finals in Singapore. Caroline made just seven unforced errors on the court that seems to be tailor-made for her. The slow turf is not only buying Caroline Wozniacki time to reach the balls but also set herself up early enough to execute her shots. With this win, Wozniacki improves her head-to-head record against Halep to 4-2 and improves her prospects of emerging as the year-end, and slam-less, number one for the third time in her career.

Caroline Garcia versus Elina Svitolina

Caroline Garcia, on the other hand, had to fight tooth and nail to beat Elina Svitolina 6-7 (7) 6-3, 7-5, in a grueling contest full of shot-making and far too many tense moments. Caroline Garcia was in tears after squandering set points in the tie-break of the first set and even fell behind in the second. She was then advised by her father to relax and enjoy the moment. That counsel worked like magic and was enough to change the course of the match. Garcia was broken by Elina to go down 3-5 in the third too, but she turned it around again to win four games in a row and close the set at 7-5.

Caroline Garcia hit 58 winners to 33 by Svitolina. Garcia is a talented all court player with a good enough net game, which she developed because of her doubles background. She has stopped playing doubles to focus entirely on her singles career. With this win, Caroline Garcia improves her head-to-head record against Elina Svitolina to 2-1. She has enjoyed a stellar Asian season this fall, and this performance suggests that there may still be some more left from her this year.

Garcia and Halep are now 1-1 each, and Svitolina 0-2 in the round-robin phase of the tournament and all three still are in contention for the semifinal spot from their group. So far, Caroline Wozniacki is the lone qualifier for the semifinal berth from this group.

Jelena Ostapenko versus Karolina Pliskova

Jelena Ostapenko suddenly came to life and stunned Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-1 in her final round robin match. Ostapenko hit twenty-five winners to only eight from Pliskova and had three less unforced compared with seventeen from Pliskova. The outcome, however, did not affect Plsikova’s prospects as she had already qualified for the semifinals after beating Muguruza on Tuesday. However, Ostapenko earned her first win against Karolina Pliskova and improved her head-to-head record 1—2 against Pliskova.

Venus Williams versus Garbine Muguruza

Venus Williams too has come into her own at the WTA Finals in Singapore and overcame a stiff resistance from Garbine Muguruza, the WTA player of the year for 2017. With her loss to Venus, Muguruza will bid adieu to a very successful 2017 and head home as she fails to qualify for the semifinals of the event. The WTA might be regretting its decision to award the player of the year somewhat prematurely to Muguruza. Venus, on the other hand, avenged her Wimbledon loss to Garbine and improved 4-2 in her head-to-head record against her.