WTA Finals, Singapore: Preview of the Round Robin Groups

SingaporeThe draw for the round robin groups of the 2015 WTA Finals in Singapore was announced on Friday with the first matches set to get underway on Sunday. Simona Halep heads up the white group and is joined by Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Flavia Pennetta. Garbiñe Muguruza headlines the red group and is joined by Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber and Lucie Safarova. In case you missed it, I posted a pre-draw preview with profiles of all eight finalists covering their 2015 seasons which you can read HERE. This post covers the draw for the round robin groups with match previews beginning from Saturday.

White Group:

The white group consists of the three lefties and Muguruza. My four favourite players from the eight are all in this group and all the match-ups sound extremely inviting so i’m excited! Kvitova is the only player of the three who has experience in Singapore, while Muguruza and Safarova are both competing in the WTA Finals for the first time. My first thoughts from this group was what a stinker for Lucie. I was really hoping she would avoid Petra who she has never beaten in seven previous encounters.

Pre-draw, I fancied Muguruza to do well and I think i’m still in that boat. The Spaniard has won her last three matches against Kerber and will play Kvitova for the first time in what should be a fascinating battle. We’ll also get to see Kerber v Kvitova and Kerber v Safarova for the first time this year. Lucie’s the underdog but if she can find her feet quickly, and playing doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands may help her do that, then I don’t think she’s to be written of just yet. The Czech player has won her most recent encounters against Kerber and Muguruza.

While I went for Petra to win Singapore last year and normally favour her for a lot of tournaments, i’m not feeling so positive about her chances this time. However, she’s pretty darn good at coming out of nowhere (and in this case it would be nowhere) to find some form and go all the way.

Predictions to qualify for the semi-finals: Muguruza and Kerber

Red Group:

The red group doesn’t hold quite as much intrigue for me but it’s harder to pick out the top two, mostly because of the uncertainty surrrounding Sharapova; the world number three hasn’t played a completed match since Wimbledon. As well as the injuries, it will be a tough ask for her to slip straight back into competition against top ten opponents. However, playing close-ish to her best, Sharapova should beat all three of her round robin opponents. I’m not convinced about Maria but I am ALL IN for a first Halep v Sharapova match in 2015. While Halep struggled during the Asian Swing, my hunch is that she gets it together in Singapore.

Radwanska and Pennetta are more than capable of qualifying from this group; Pennetta has a superb record against Sharapova, leading the head-to-head 3-2 and winning their last three matches, all in three sets. Pennetta also beat Halep in their last match at the US Open and will want to go out on a high in the last competitive tournament of her career. It’s hard to gauge whether she will feel any pressure or feel completely freeee to go out with a flourish. While her recent results in Asia have been disappointing, Pennetta often raises her game against top ten opposition. Radwanska had a humdinger with Sharapova at last year’s WTA Finals and that will be a crucial clash. The Pole has been in excellent form through the Asian Swing and looked very competent on these courts last year. It’s a wide open group…

Predictions to qualify for the semi-finals: Halep and Radwanska

Final Prediction: Muguruza d. Halep

As always, comments are appreciated and come at me with your opinions! Also, Women’s Tennis Blog is well worth a follow this week as Jimmie48 Tennis Photography is in Singapore. Check out his photos from the draw ceremony HERE.

Photo credit in this post: Getty Images

10 thoughts on “WTA Finals, Singapore: Preview of the Round Robin Groups

  1. My pick is also Muguruza. I am highly uncertain about Sharapova and Kvitova but wont be surprised in the least if I see the two in the finals. As far as Penetta is concerned, she is a completely different player when she plays the top 10, she plays her best tennis against the top players. Radwanska has a fairly good chance of being in the semi-finals. For some reason, I am not feeling Safarova, I dont think she will make the semis.

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  2. I am struggling greatly with this draw (which i suppose is to be expected) the uncertainty over pretty much all of the players is intriguing. For me the Sharapova/Pennetta match is key in the group.

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  3. Ahhh! There is a Serena sized hole in this lineup. But, the upside is the rest of the field is reasonably balanced. It could become a scrap for the finish line, although I see a few ‘red shirts’ in the red group.

    Never thought I would be so glad to see Maria( in her model pose) in a lineup but sans Serena she’s the closest thing to the strong old guards. Flavia has nothing to lose frankly, and quite some cash to take home, if anyone is willing to put it all out there it should be her. Why the gown with Lucie, has she got some strapping underneath there ? or someone forgot to send her the memo. Her legs aren’t half bad either.

    Any stats on which group has produced the most winners, red or white ?

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  4. my pick as a winner this year its Halep,she was one of the best on hard this year and i feel she is prepared to take it all the way this year.Her asian swing was not the best this year but i think she was playing in Asia only to get her bonuses from WTA.Also Darren Cahill seems pretty confident about her chances and he can give her the confidence to win this

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  5. Also,i have a feeling Muguruza would not make it out from her group.I dont know why coz i like her a lot and she seem pretty solid here but my feeling go with Petra and Kerber from her group

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  6. For me it is Muguruza all the way but you never know with Petra. I hope Lucie will be ready and solid. If she somehow manage to win the first match, its gonna be really something for her confidence and i think with her it is now more about her confidence than about her health. It will be so exciting for us Czechs to watch the white group. I actually dont care about the rest, white group is enough for me. I have to admit i cannot stay objective here, for me there is the white group and Penneta, nobody else. I simply dont believe in Sharapova, Radwanska and even Halep.

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  7. Flavia Pennetta or Muguruza please take the trophy home. The rest are not worthy champion if one of them really wins it.

    Simona Halep – recent MTO queen. Making this as a practice for other players whenever they lose the first set. The draw favours her without putting her with the big hitters. She get beaten easily by the same players multiple times this year (e.g. Bencic, Barroni). I hope she doesn’t claim to have injury if she loses to someone this time.

    Maria Sharapova – not 100% fit to compete.

    Petra Kvitova – she may win the YEC if she turns out but I doubt she will.

    Kerber – Muguruza will beat her one more time in Singapore and she will fail in Singapore again.

    Radwanska – a desperado will fail one more time in Singapore. I hope she does a bit better since this may be her last chance to play in YEC.

    Lucie Safarova – She sounds like a lukcy loser. She will be walking bye in Singapore.

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    • Whoever wins it will be a worthy champion. That’s the way it goes. Now, stop being such a plonker (and stop being factually incorrect too re Halep.) Thank you.

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  8. im very excited to be going to singapore to watch the WTA finals from Tuesday session all the way to the final! Hope to get intense and thrilling matches!

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