Cibulkova marches towards a victory, Kerber unbeaten at the WTA Finals
Lagging behind with 2 losses in the Round Robin, she kept her hopes alive of reaching the semi-finals. Dominika, quite Domin-eering, defeated the seed number 3, Simona Halep in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6(5).
Her previous two matches made her more determined and rigour for the third one, to prevent herself from elimination from the Red Group. Her victory has already assured that the world number 1, Angelique Kerber is into the semi-finals.
Cibulkova came all armed up, far more planned than her opponent today and fired the ball like a bullet. Such was the her rigour, that she took the first 3 games of the set under 10 minutes; lead 3-0. The next game began, Dominika got one point on Haley’s error. It was then that Simona broke the streak of 13 consecutive points. Her knee was all taped up today, as she struggles with her footwork also. Further, the match standings stood at 5-2, and Dominika seemed so much focussed, Halep held the game and changed the 2 into 3. Cibulkova took the first set as Halep served a long erroneous serve.
Into the second set, Dominika seemed very determined as before. Both the players took the service game and it was 1-1. Further, Cibulkova broke Haley’s serve twice in the second set, leading 4-1 in the second set.
Halep, then made a strong comeback and took the set to a blazing tie-break, which she eventually lost as she hit a cross court backhand, which was called OUT.
Angelique is being so Angelique! All cool, she has won all the matches she has played in Round Robin of the Red group. As she played her third match today, she defeated the American Madison Keys in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
“I knew that I’m already in the semis, but still I’m always going out there to win the match.” Kerber said. “I think I’ve learned so much from the last match what I lost here against Safarova one year ago. I think today it was easier, but I was trying to not thinking about this, that I’m already in the semis. I was trying to going out there and playing the match, because I know that Madison was in the same situation I was in last year”
12 months ago, Kerber had lost to Safarova in straight sets, was quite a devastating match.
To the player who is the youngest ever to play the finals, Madison Keys, experience is the key.
“I let nerves get the best of me, and I think that happens to everyone,” Keys said.
“Just something that I need to work on. It’s not a bad thing. It happens to a lot of people. People figure it out. Obviously I’m not the best at it at 21. Hopefully there are a couple more years to fight that out.”
“Tennis is evolving a little bit. People aren’t winning slams at 21. Angelique made number 1 in the world at 28; that wasn’t happening before.” said Keys, who looks up to Kerber as an inspiration.
Kerber managed to convert 85. 7% of the break points today. The 7th game of the match, i.e. 3-3 and it was Kerber to serve, this game saw some phenomenal returns and volleys and groundstrokes and cross courts from both the players, really deserved an applause.
The German’s latest victory was completed under the watchful gaze of some of the most famous names in the sport, including Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Monica Seles.
“You know, I looked over there just once and all the great legends and champions, they are sitting there,” the 28-year-old Kerber told reporters. “Of course it’s a great feeling that I’m on court and they are watching me.”
“Now I can say that I am one of those players that won grand slams and has been the number one player in the world. It was a really good feeling and I was really proud about what I have achieved in the last few years.”
Kerber has topped the Red Group in Singapore and will face the winner of Friday’s White Group decider between defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska and big-hitting Czech Karolina Pliskova in Saturday’s semi-finals.
The matches lined up for today are:
Garbiñe Muguruza vs Svetlana Kuznetsova
Radwanska vs Pliskova