As Svetlana Kuzunetsova became the 8th qualifier for WTA Finals yesterday, she returned to the finals after a long gap of 7 years’ absence with a victory over Daria Gavrilova in Moscow’s finals.
As WTA is all set with the Qualifiers, while the ATP is yet to wrap up four tournaments and get to the final 8 qualifiers. The WTA Finals began today, at Singapore. The qualified players have been grouped as follows:
1. Angelique Kerber (Germany)
3. Simona Halep (Romania)
6. Madison Keys (USA)
7. Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia)
2. Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland)
4. Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic)
5. Garbine Muguruza (Spain)
8. Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia)
Serena Williams is absent from the finals for the second consecutive year as she chose not to play there. Also, the 2015 finalist, the 2-time Grand Slam champion, Petra Kvitova is also absent as she couldn’t qualify. In the race for the final spot, with Kuznetsova were Johanna Konta and Carla Suarez-Navarro too. Kuznetsova and Konta had a very minor difference in their points, of which Svetlana won.
In the opening match of the tournament, Simona Halep has started her campaign with a 6-2 6-4 straight set victory over Madison Keys. Although Keys has a solid start with her booming forehands, Halep had managed to break her in the third game of the 1st set and took the control of the match as Keys game became riddled with unforced errors. Although Keys regrouped herself in the 2nd set, Halep was able to break her in the 9th game of the 2nd set before serving out for the match.
“It’s always the same with Madison… she’s very strong and hits the ball hard so it’s tough to match her power,” said Halep. “So I have to adjust, be strong with my legs and make the most of my chances.”
A year ago, after she failed to advance from the round-robin stage of the WTA Finals, Angelique Kerber recovered from a break down in the deciding set to send the 7th seed Cibulkova home, with a score line of 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3, and eased into the second place in the red group.
“Yeah, it was for sure a little bit better than the last match I played here against Safarova last year, but it’s always tough to play the first matches here,” kerber told.
“Of course the pressure is really big for me, but it’s a new situation. I’m really happy that I dealt with it well today in the first match for me. It was a really close and tough match, so I think that was also really important for me, to have a match like that in the first round.”
“That gives me a lot of confidence to win such a match after the last few weeks.”
Order of Play for Day 2: Monday, October 24
19:30 SGT, 7:30 EST, 12:30 BST
(2) A.Radwanska vs (8) S.Kuznetsova
(4) K.Pliskova vs (5) G.Muguruza