WTA Finals Singapore, Semi-Final Preview #1: Garbiñe Muguruza v Agnieszka Radwanska

Muguruza

The second semi-final on Saturday in Singapore will pit Garbiñe Muguruza against Agnieszka Radwanska for the fifth time in 2015 with Radwanska seeking her first win over Muguruza this year.

Radwanska looked to be in a rather precarious position in her group after two matches, going 0-2 with losses to Maria Sharapova and Flavia Pennetta. For Radwanska to qualify, she had to win her third match in straight sets and hope that Sharapova would beat Pennetta in straight sets. Just like last year, everything went to plan and she successfully qualified for the semi-finals, winning just one of her three round robin matches. Radwanska was on the brink of defeat but produced some dazzling play to complete a wonderful win over Simona Halep, 7-6(5) 6-1. In the first set, Radwanska missed two set points at 5-4, but was then forced to save three break points at 5-5, all saved with forehand winners. In a gruelling set that lasted well over an hour, Radwanska came from 1-5 down in the tiebreak to win six straight points; she closed out the set with two forceful returns and then one of the rallies of the match.

It was a fabulous set point but Halep had so many chances to win the rally. It was a disappointing performance from the Romanian player as she struggled to close out points against Radwanska and was generally non-clutch, converting just one out of nine break points. Halep appeared to check out at the end of the second set. However, take nothing away from Radwanska who prodcued a special second set performance and came away with her best win of the year.

Muguruza completed a clean sweep of wins over the lefties, going 3-0 in the white group with wins over Lucie Safarova (6-3 7-6), Angelique Kerber (6-4 6-4) and Petra Kvitova (6-4 4-6 7-5). The Spaniard is having a fabulous week after also qualifying for the semi-finals in the doubles with partner, Carla Suárez Navarro. In her last round robin match, Muguruza opened her head-to-head with a win over Kvitova. Early signs suggested this may be a tough match-up for Muguruza, but she soon found her serving range to win the opening set, 6-4. The lack of rhythm from Kvitova is something that will make this a tricky match-up for Muguruza in the future. Kvitova fought back, winning a break-happy second set featuring seven breaks of serve. Muguruza failed to take a break point at 4-4 that would have seen her serve for the match. Kvitova was always ahead in the deciding set but Muguruza eventually prevailed, securing another fine win on her fourth match point.

Radwanska won her first two matches against Muguruza but since then, it has been one way traffic for the Spaniard who has won all four encounters in 2015. Muguruza won in Sydney (3-6 7-6 6-2), Dubai (6-4 6-2), Wimbledon (6-2 3-6 6-3) and Beijing (4-6 6-3 6-4). Their most recent match in China was pretty telling with Muguruza clearly not 100% physically but still finding a way to win. The world number three has excelled in these types of matches all year and has won her last nine matches combined against Radwanska, Wozniacki and Kerber.

There’s a case that both players will be feeling fatigued; Muguruza has played every day in Singapore (singles and doubles) and was on court for two hours and 33 minutes against Kvitova. Radwanska will have had a day of rest but has been sporting strapping on her shoulder and leg in her last two matches, and played a heavy schedule to get to Singapore.

While Radwanska produced a supreme display to defeat Halep on Thursday i’d still fancy Muguruza to reach the final. The Spaniard has been in superb form all week and had a confidence-boosting win over Kvitova, gritting out a closely fought match whilst not playing at her best.

Prediction: Muguruza d. Radwanska in 3 sets

11 thoughts on “WTA Finals Singapore, Semi-Final Preview #1: Garbiñe Muguruza v Agnieszka Radwanska

  1. Radwanska will need to bring her absolute best if she wants even a chance of winning against an in form Muguruza, who is brimming with confidence right now! I think Sharapova may be the only one who could stop her at this point.

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    • Radwanska has a decent aggressive game, but she rarely plays that way, in my opinion she needs to bring her aggressive game out and go for her angles, she is someone who becomes more and more defensive once she is behind. She needs to go for it.

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  2. Muguruza is very confident with her three consecutive wins, and won all four games against Radwanska this year. Even knowing that Radwanska is a resourceful player, I think Muguruza has the edge in this match.

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  3. If Aga doesn’t push and she plays like the way she did to Halep. She has chance here. She needs to punch the balls back instead of pushing them back all the time. Let’s the best two play in the final. Personally, I prefer Petra to play in the final.

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  4. Muguruza in 2….in 3 really! That’s why Women Tennis is fascinating. Before the match, everyone has prematurely written off Aga. Now she is in the final.

    Every human being has limitations. Muguruza is still inexperience playing at this big stage. However, she will grow bigger from here. I am laughing to the bank again. Thanks God!

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  5. Kudos to Radwanska, I did say after the Petra match with Garbine that Aga was in it with a chance, Garbine played sloppy and looked tired. Rightly so.

    Being her first time here, I really don’t see how the doubles was helping Muguruza. Aga also got a day off to rest (she’s been a very lucky girl). Anyway, she still has her doubles semi to look forward to, hopefully Carla will carry her to victory over Andrea/lucie since it seems to mean that much to her. I still have Hinigs/Mirza for the title anyway.

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