WTA Finals Singapore 2015, Final Preview: Petra Kvitova v Agnieszka Radwanska

Radwanska

The final of the 2015 WTA Finals will take place in Singapore on Sunday at not before 6.30pm and will be contested between the number four seed, Petra Kvitova and the number five seed, Agnieszka Radwanska. This is an unlikely final considering both players lost their opening matches and went 1-2 during their round robin matches… it should be a fun final though!

After losing her first two matches of the week, Radwanska rebounded in style to reach her first ever final at the WTA Finals. Radwanska fought back from a set down to snap a four match losing streak to Garbiรฑe Muguruza, winning 6-7(5) 6-3 7-5 in a thrilling semi-final encounter that lasted two hours and 38 minutes. The first set was thoroughly entertaining and well worth getting up early for on a Saturday morning! The early proceedings flicked between peak Aga and peak Garbiรฑe. Radwanska was mixing it up beautifully and making life very uncomfortable for Muguruza. There was one particular shot, the fake drop shot, where she sliced a backhand winner up the line that was particularly impressive. Radwanska had a big hold at 4-4, saving two break points. Muguruza responded in fabulous fashion by hitting three blazing winners. The set deservedly went to the tiebreak…

Radwanska led 4-1 in the tiebreak but Muguruza won six of the next seven points to take the set, prevailing on an amazing set point. It was my favourite set of the week so far with the pair combining for 32 winners.

Radwanska managed to maintain her level in the second set while Muguruza, clearly fatigued, started to lose her intensity. A missed swing volley from Muguruza on a break point was critical and although she managed to come back from 0-4 to 3-4, Radwanska was too solid and levelled up at one set all. Radwanska had the edge in the third set with Muguruza leaking errors; however the Spaniard dug in deep to get back to 4-4 with the adrenaline helping to bring back her initial intensity. Radwanska was 7-14 in three set matches prior to this match and hadn’t beaten Muguruza this year but she held her nerve when it really mattered, breaking Muguruza to 15 in the last game to seal one of, if not, the biggest win of her year.

Radwanska was clearly a little choked in the post-match interview. It’s not the first time we’ve seen Aga fighting back the tears in an interview (Eastbourne final interview was tough to watch) but it was nice to see it for a happy reason! While she shows little emotion on the court, it shows how much this win meant to her. Also, it was lovely to see such a warm handshake. If the result had been the other way around, I don’t think we would have seen that…

In the second of the semi-finals, Kvitova produced her best performance of the week, defeating Maria Sharapova for the second straight year in Singapore, winning 6-3 7-6(3). Sharapova led 5-1 (!) in the second set but would go onto lose five straight games. Sharapova was also ahead early in the tiebreak but Kvitova was in the groove, winning seven of the last eight points to roll into the final. Kvitova looked so much sharper in this one compared to previous matches; in one of them she was even drinking Coke on the changeovers! She was clean and aggressive from the baseline, hitting 25 winners to 24 unforced errors and dominating many of the baseline rallies. Her movement was also very impressive as she got many balls back into play that didn’t look on. Sharapova was unable to find the level that saw her win her three round robin matches and showed some mental rust, twice failing to serve out the second set.

Kvitova leads Radwanska, 6-2 in the head-to-head. Aga’s two wins both came in the WTA Finals in Istanbul (6-3 6-2, 2012) and Singapore (6-2 6-3, 2014). Their last match took place in New Haven where Kvitova prevailed in straight sets, 7-5 6-4. From one day to the next, it’s impossible to predict which Petra will take to the court. Against Aga, she’s playing a different type of player compared to Maria and if she’s feeling fatigued, this will be a miserable match for her!ย  We know that Radwanska will produce a reasonably solid base level but who knows with Kvitova?! There’s no doubt though that Petra’s best beats Aga’s best. Furthermore, Petra has an incredible 17-5 record in finals.

I’m completely on the fence and could see it going either way. I’ll take a risk with this one…

Prediction: Kvitova d. Radwanska in 3 sets

38 thoughts on “WTA Finals Singapore 2015, Final Preview: Petra Kvitova v Agnieszka Radwanska

    • I remember you betting Petra to go down. You must be losing load of money betting Petra to lose. WTA Tennis has no sense. That’s why Women Tennis is fascinating. Who do you think will win this final? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

    • This is the downside of round robin matches. Unfortunately, the math here is not always 1 + 1 = 2. You’ve got to get lucky and whatnot. Like James mentioned, maybe a knockout system might remove some of the favours?!

      That said, opportunity favours the prepared soul, if you get a second chance, you best take it. I can’t say both women didn’t take their chances. They sure did.

      Like

  1. I’m not going to watch this clown show of a final. They both don’t deserved to be in the final. So I don’t care who win. Sharapova or Garbine are the real champions. This reminds me just like the US Open.

    Like

  2. I’ve just enjoyed my final folks, this was the match up for me and Petra just made my weekend. May the best girl win the finals.

    Like

  3. What’s the use of winning 3-0 and if you cant win against players who won one match. Both Kvitova and Radwanska played their hearts out. It was quite evident with Kvitova’s pojds and Radwanksa’s emotions.. This is Women’s tennis. It is the place where you challenge the best and come out as winners. Congrats to both the girls. They both deserve to win. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Like

      • Like I said a clown show with poor viewship and underserving winner. Maria gave Petra that match, it had nothing to do with her skills, just luke Serena gave Vinic that match.

        Like

      • Andrew,after Garbine defeated Petra,quite frankly I didn’t think she could win against Aga,playing doubles as well as singles during the tournament is too taxing,still making the s/finals of this tournament in singles is still a great result for Garbine,

        Like

      • To be fair, it is Muguruza choice to play doubles. She should focus on single.
        Anyway, anyone can say anything after the match is over.

        Like

      • Had Carla qualified for singles perhaps they wouldn’t have played doubles. But it wouldn’t have seemed fair to have shunted her partner at their biggest hurdle yet.

        Like

  4. There have been lot of comments everywhere on how Aga and Petra are undeserving and I dont understand completely where this comes from? The top two from each group proceed to SFs. Aga and Petra were tied 1-2 with 2 other players in their group. But each of them had gotten a set off the group leader and that made them 2nd best.

    Garbiรฑe has been playing every day for 6 days. She was bound to be fatigued. Plus, matches against Aga can turn very physical. Their 3 other matches this year have gone 3 sets, anyway. Aga really upped the ante against Halep and from what I saw, she brought the same intensity today. So, Aga’s win isnt that surprising.

    Petra’s win a bit more surprising, yes. But Petra’s level can fluctuate dramatically and her best is scary good. Plus, Pova can run headlong into a wall when she has romped through the draw. She demolished the opposition in AO’13 with record-low number of games lost and then lost in straights to Li Na in the SF. Not to mention, this was only her 4th completed match since July. She was out with injuries in Spring and lost in straights against Sveta in Madrid SF. She later said it took her a while to get used to playing that many matches in a week, because she lacked match play. In fact, her 3 wins in RR is what surprised me. Garbiรฑe carried on the form from her Asian swing, but Pova didnt have anything like that. She came with a clean slate.

    The results arent what the bookies called but placed in context they make sense. I like the RR format because unlike one-and-done slams, it rewards consistency. And presents a different set of mental challenges. Aga knew she had a must win match against Halep and she (surprisingly, to me) brought her best. Garbi fought hard today till the end. Contrast that to Simona and Angie’s defeatist mindsets that cost them the matches. I feel RR is a great format to have in the tour finals where the best 8 are supposed to compete and there is parity between the competition. You expect any of these players to beat each other because they have been that good this year.

    Think of ATP WTF 2014. 8 of world’s best came to play and half of them could barely muster more than 4-5 games in a match, let alone a set. Until Stan-Fed played that thrilling SF, the rest of the tournament was a dud. I really prefer this tournament to that one. This is cream of the crop from this year. The competition is bound to be thrilling, close, and unpredictable.

    Like

    • Petra’s win is not a surprise. She always play well with big hitters especially Sharapova, Safarova and Serena. Frankly speaking, she will beat Muguruza if they play on a faster court next time.

      Like

      • I dont know if I agree with that. Her first win against Pova after 2011 came last year in SG, a stretch in which Maria beat her 5 times. She has only beaten Serena once. She does have a good record against Vika. I dont really put Lucie in the same category as Serena, Maria, Vika. Playing style and career level for her has not been the same as others.

        Like

      • “big hitter” is the term here. It is not who plays than who. Sharapova, Safarova and Serena they are all big hitters.This is nothing to do with the level of plays of skills. The prediction here flopped badly in the last few matches. I wonder how many lost their undies following the predictions.

        Like

      • Get your facts right safarova is no big hitter and even if she is then she is very inconsistent which makes the entire difference

        Like

    • Everyone knows Kvitova can beat anyone if she shows up to play. So, the “surprise” is she shows up to play instead of of her evil twin sister Shitra that everyone is expected including all the predictions on the Internet.

      You can write 10,000 words claiming what you know about WTA or ATP but tennis does not play out like what you think. However, you don’t know the conditions of the players (i.e. physical and health). Like Venus said in Wuhan Open after the final, tennis is unpredictable. Kvitova basically slumped after 2011 when she won Wimbledon. She had really bad year in 2012 and she lost to nearly any players (she played and lost to Pova 3 times in 2012). If you take out 2012 H2H between her and Sharapova, the H2H is pretty even. Also, players peak at different periods.

      All these 8 girls have equal chance to win the WTA YEC Championship. They all play at the same level of tennis (i.e. except Serena is playing different levels). In this year YEC, It depends who peak at the right time. A peak Petra or Aga can beat anyone. The funny thing is that people think Sharapova or Muguruza can win the trophy when they peaked in RR.This is like horse racing. The horse that peaks early usually loses at the end for average 1200m race (not sure anyone here knows horse racing lol)

      Nobody can predict the future based on history. All predictions are by chance. If you can, you are God!

      Like

    • i would love to see wta finals changing the format to the format that fivb world cup is using… all players/teams will be playing with each other (don’t divide the players into two groups), and whoever tops after all the games are played, will be the winner…i think it will be more balanced and fair…and with that i can say who’s really on top of the world as what the wta finals slogan is telling..because right now, i really don’t think petra or aga can be considered on top of the world by looking at their round robin matches record…

      Like

  5. These women knew the rules before the competition started. So, nobody can blame the rules so long as there are some good tennis games presented to fans. Sharapova and Muguruza did not take their chance. Aga and Petra peak at the right time. So, what to say?

    Nobody dares to give prediction after this event? Petra will take this trophy home leaving all the tournament favourite fans licking their wounds and making complaints.

    Like

  6. Earlier today when I looked at betting lines, I thought it showed Aga as the favorite but now it shows Kvitova. Did I read it wrong? Just wondering if it something happened in the last few hours to sway the odds…

    Like

  7. I would love to see The WTA Finals following the same rule as the FIVB World Cup wherein all players will be playing with each other…No more group and knockout stages…

    Like

  8. Everyone is just complaining about the format well no point in arguing about it , we now have Kvitova vs Radwanska so deal with it. Now Between these two who is going to win? H2H dont mean anything in tennis. A player can have a 5-0 H2H Record and lose the 6th Game. So based on this tourment and these two oppenents right now who is going to win?

    Like

  9. Kudos to Radwanska!

    Not everyone will be happy with her win but she showed up when it mattered and did what she needed to do. Good as well, cause she worked her way in the last few WTA tournaments to make it here. It is what it is.
    In tennis especially( a non-team sport) you must not only have some talent but you have to be very motivated. Sometimes motivation can get you further than simple talent. You have to come out and play!

    Like

  10. Cheers as always, James, an interesting tournament. Good conversations. Picks actually don’t mean that much to me in RR matches cause there are other factors at play which complicate the picture. Enjoyed the write ups. Here’s to 2016 …

    I hope this win gives Radwanska the needed boost to bigger things. Although, I’m a baseline hitter first and foremost, I do like what she brings to the Tour, it is great to watch when she is at her best. Something I picked up though from the Sharapova , Petra encounter, is that Maria has a healthy respect for Petra which may not get to Serena territory, but can adversely affect her game sometimes. It doesn’t help when Petra plays her best against her. Just my opinion.

    Ana has been the disappointment for me this year, kind of expected her deep in the top 8. I hope Pliskova also manages her season well next year, she’s one I’m watching along with Bencic. I feel sad for Genie, it seems ‘things’ have overtaken her.

    Like

    • Really like your summary, Let’s play! Agree with almost everything. I’m quite neutral about Radwanska but I definitely like what she brings to the tour. It was really nice to see her being so emotional about the biggest win of her career because she barely shows emotions.
      – Excited about Muguruza next season and really hoping she’ll win a GS.
      – Excited about Pliskova, Keys, Bencic
      – Curious to see if Genie rises again
      – Curious to see if the unplayable Azarenka will turn up for 2016
      – Curious to see how Serena rebounds from her tough loss

      Like

  11. Radwanska was just too consistent for Kvitova. Her hammy must of hurt sooo bad after the game. Really should have won in 2 sets. Either way money in the bank ๐Ÿ˜„

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s