WTA Finals Singapore, Semi-Final Preview #2: Maria Sharapova v Petra Kvitova

Sharapova

The second of Saturday’s semi-finals at the WTA Finals in Singapore will be a blockbuster clash between the third seed, Maria Sharapova and the fourth seed, Petra Kvitova, starting at not before 6.30pm local time.

Sharapova qualified top of the red group, going 3-0 with victories over Agnieszka Radwanska (4-6 6-3 6-4), Simona Halep (6-4 6-4) and Flavia Pennetta (7-5 6-1). There were question marks surrounding Sharapova before Singapore as she had not played a completed match since Wimbledon; however she has blasted those concerns into the stratosphere, improving match-by-match and looking like the one to beat in Singapore. In her final round robin match on Thursday, Sharapova snapped a three match losing streak against Pennetta to secure her first win over the Italian player since 2006.

Sharapova’s win also sent Pennetta into retirement… congrats to Flavia on a wonderful career! I loved the hug at the net. I think the last time Maria was involved in a hug at the net was with Lucie in Miami last year! After recovering from a break down in the first set, Sharapova played some superb tennis at the end of the first set and into a one-sided second set. Sharapova couldn’t have asked for a better serving day, hitting seven aces, maintaining a high first serve percentage throughout and losing just one point behind her first serve in the second set. Like her first two matches, Sharapova’s groundstrokes were sharp and she also continued to use the drop shot, which has been a great addition to her game in 2015.

Kvitova went 1-2 through the round robin group stage but had her Czech teammate, Lucie Safarova to thank for, progressing into the semi-finals of Singapore from the white group. Kvitova lost her third and final group match to Garbiñe Muguruza, a tight three setter, 6-4 4-6 7-5. However, by virtue of Safarova’s straight sets win over Angelique Kerber, 6-4 6-3, Kvitova snapped up the final place in the semi-finals.

Sharapova and Kvitova will meet for the first time in 2015; this match will act as a warm-up act for the sure-to-be singles match that will take place in the Fed Cup final in two weeks time. Sharapova leads Kvitova, 6-3 in the head-to-head. It was Kvitova who won their last match in round robin action in Singapore last year, coming through, 6-3 6-2. Both Petra’s completed wins have come in straight sets. Before their clash in Singapore, Sharapova had won five matches in a row.

Based on recent form and fitness, Sharapova will be the favourite for this clash. Kvitova played a lengthy match with Muguruza on Friday, lasting over the two and a half hour mark, while Sharapova had a day off. Petra’s done great to reach the semi-finals and despite being affected by the effects of Mononucelosis for a large chunk of the season, you wouldn’t have guessed it from her ranking.

Perhaps Petra will summon up something special against Maria but i’m not feeling it unfortunately. Maria has looked in super form and looks to be in a great place right now. Head over heart with this one…

Prediction: Sharapova d. Kvitova in 2 sets

14 thoughts on “WTA Finals Singapore, Semi-Final Preview #2: Maria Sharapova v Petra Kvitova

  1. so gutted for Angie here. it was so sad what she was saying to her coach between the games. It was all mental today and the fact that the WTA made that big mistake announcing her qualification in that dubios article on the WTA finals website as well as the fact that everyone was calculating and counting before her match started didn’t help her at all. I think that they need to change it on the last day of round robin: the matches need to be at the same time. in every other sport it is like this. if they don’t want to do this, they should return to playing the second round of round robin between winner – winner and looser – looser of the first match, even if the third round robin has two dead rubbers as a consequence.
    Really angry on that unfair scheduling (also, why wasn’t Safarova – Kerber the first match on court????).

    However, Angie faltered mentally today. She had in in her own hands and she wasn’t able to win that one set that she needed. She should work on that more than on anything else. Otherwise, we’ll never witness a huge title for her. To be fair, I think other players would have mentally faltered too.

    I think Maria d. Petra in 2 sets. Don’t see her challenging Maria at all. She played well today but it was a long three setter and she has no day off to recover. And Maria, of course, was unplayable at times during the Round Robin.

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    • I think I agree with you. Tennis is mentally tough enough as it is without scenarios like this. I don’t think she played badly at all though. She had some awesome points… Safarova was just VERY aggressive and hitting her marks the majority of the time.

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      • True! Safarova was playing really really well and absolutely painting the lines! Stayed very calm and was aggressive when she needed to be. But still… I think if Angie would have been mentally there, she would have won at least one set or gave her more work to do.
        I disagree though that Angie was not playing bad. I’ve seen the whole match and the only game she played constantly well was her first service game in the 2nd set. Apart from that, her balls were all too short and Sararova was close to the baseline punishing all those balls perfectly executing an aggressive game plan. Angie’s coach kept saying to her she should stay aggressive and play longer balls but I think Angie’s head had other plans today. She was mentioning that she is not feeling it today and that she is really nervous about that set she needed to qualify for the semi finals.

        Anyways, I’m fully gonna cheer for Muguruza now, I think she could do it! I also think Masha could do it and with Petra you never know 😀 I’m open for any surprises!! I just think Aga has no chance to win the whole thing.

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    • Why do you say that? Muguruza could probably out hit Maria from the back of the court. She has a better serve. And she’s confident moving into the net. I think the match up is going to favour Garbine now she’s hit her stride.

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  2. It is fun to see Aga vs Petra in the final. Petra can beat Maria if her evil twin sister is off. Aga seems to have no chance against Muguruza. Nevertheless, she has no chance against Halep too but she won. Who knows?

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      • lolll Aga already in the final. Petra now leading 1-0. Who knows? Maria in 2 is delusional again.Bet on Petra wins and Maria 2-1 on both end already making money. Petra may just take it. Who knows?

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    • I believed Aga did have a chance, Garbine is looks spent.

      On the other hand, Petra is also coming into this without the day’s rest unlike Sharapova who was already as fresh as a baby’s bum and still got an extra day. Plus, Maria does revenge wins pretty well.

      This is the match-up I wanted, although Petra hasn’t had a smooth ride here I would be pleasantly surprised if she comes through although I wont be laughing all the way to the bank since I don’t bet.
      Without Serena, Maria is the go to girl if you want guts and glory wins. She’ll be tough to beat.

      It could have been a Radwanska vs Kerber final too…

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