DOMI-NIKA.. ousts Kerber to win the Tour Finals
Dominika Cibulkova’s road to the final wasn’t easy at all. She suffered a defeat in her first two Round Robin matches and struggled to win the third to stay in the competition and to qualify for the semi-finals, where she defeated Simona Halep. She further defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semi-final, who had lost only one match in the Round Robin against Garbiñe Muguruza and hence could qualify for the knockouts. Whereas, Angelique Kerber had a clear road to the semi-finals, winning all the Round Robin matches, defeating Dominika Cibulkova, Simona Halep, Madison Keys, and Agnieszka Radwanska yesterday; winning 8 and losing 1 set till the finals match, Dominika had won and lost 5 sets each. Kerber was leading the head-to-head 5-4, and Dominika had not won any of the previous meetings with Angelique since 2013. The very first match and the last match of the tournament, were having the same opponents, but the result changed everything.
So, in the first set, Dominika began with the serve and took the first game. On Kerber’s serve, she got broken and Cibulkova lead 2-0; she held her serve again and was now leading 3-0, playing some brilliant forehands whereas Kerber was netting her smartly initiated shots. After 3 games, Kerber trailed 3-1, won the game with a deuce. Further she broke back, and took a game, Dominika was now leading 3-2, after playing a long rally of over 20 shots. Kerber was struggling with her poor serve today.
Cibulkova broke back again, when it was being thought that Angelique could be back in the match. With an excellent response and avoiding long rallies, she took the game; held her game to 5-2. Kerber trailed and took her third game for the first set, with a good hold, winning it with 40-15. It was Dominika to serve, it was 40-30, when she played an amazing Forehand winner and sealed the set in 31 minutes. Dominika committed 8 unforced errors to Angelique’s 10, while Kerber had committed 2 double faults, and Dominika, none.
In the second set, Dominika was still in the fierce rhythm and was continuing to play phenomenal tennis. Kerber began, with a serve and trailed 1-0. Dominika gave it back, as she held the game; 1-1. Kerber again trailed, facing the consistent power of Dominika which was later tied at 2-2; the German played an amazing forehand while being at the deuce. Kerber held her service again, led 3-2, though committed a double fault too. This was supposed to be the turning point of the match if it had to, but Dominika’s power was surmounting today. As she tied the game again at 3-3, she was all smiles, that yeah, she had got it in her to still win this. Now was the Domi-nating moment, Dominika broke Angelique on her serve and led 4-3, as Kerber committed the 6th double fault of the match, she seemed very blank today; Dominika being only 2 games away to achieve the biggest achievement of her career as yet. But not so easy Domi! As Domi held her serve and made it to 5-3, Kerber trailed again as 5-4. At 40-30, Kerber served an ace which was called out by the line-judge, which she challenged and secured the game with a wrapping ace. Now as the players set to rest, Domi was still pumped up, kept on shaking her feet while having a rest and quickly ran towards her side as the umpire called for time, as if she was in a hurry to win it soon. The world number 7 finally got it tight, putting in two nervous points at 15-40, double match point, and Kerber played an incredible defense throughout the game to force Dominika to win it. But a bad return miss from the German at deuce lead to the championship point number 4 and the Slovakian won it, BUT! At the letcord! Her final forehand shot ticked the net tape and the time froze to see if it could be here or there, while the ball was still in the air. It landed on Angelique’s side and the Slovak was no more the number 7 now, she became the world number 5 now, in a dream come true final, she celebrated her biggest win!
“Right now, I don’t doubt myself anymore. I didn’t doubt myself this year at all” said the winning champion. While congratulating Angelique, she also mentioned it to her that she had been her biggest inspiration all year round to play and bring out the best in herself. Angelique Kerber, ended the season as world number 1, winning two Grand Slams, winning the Olympics silver, and many such big additions. She has had a great season this year. All the best to all the women.
Elena Vesnina & Ekaterina Makarova defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Šafářová 7-6, 6-3 to win Doubles WTA Finals Title.
Angelique Kerber clinched Year End World No.1 in Women’s singles.
Sania Mirza clinched Year End World No.1 in Women’s Doubles.