Saturday’s Set Points: Kuznetsova seals final place in Singapore, Niculescu dazzles in Luxembourg

Set PointsSvetlana Kuznetsova defended her title in Moscow, winning 12 of the last 13 games to beat first time finalist, Daria Gavrilova, 6-2 6-1. By virtue of the win, Kuznetsova has sealed the eighth and final place in the Singapore line-up. Huge credit must go to Sveta who has had a brilliant end to the year with not only the title in Moscow but also semi-final showings in Wuhan and Tianjin. She knew she had to win Moscow and totally delivered. Sveta’s not always been the most mentally stable but this was a magnificent effort.

I’m just wondering what Sveta has left in the tank after two gruelling weeks and barely any time to prepare. She’ll play her first match in Singapore on Monday evening!

Daria Gavrilova is set to debut at a new career high 24 in next week’s rankings. A great end to the season… good for you, Dasha!

And the other Dasha, Daria Kasatkina, also ended her year in Moscow. Rest up Dasha… I can’t wait to see what you do next year :-).

Over in Luxembourg there was a bit of a surprise as Monica Niculescu defeated the number one seed, Petra Kvitova, 6-4 6-0 (!). This was Niculescu’s first title in over two years and her speech was sooo sweet! She’s a star.

Niculescu winning the last regulation WTA tournament of 2016 is a pretty perfect end to what has been a wacky year.

Petra had her parents in Luxembourg this week and it was still a solid week. Next up is Zhuhai in just over a week.

So back to Singapore and the final eight are all set…

The top eight did press in Singapore today ahead of the tournament starting tomorrow.

The first preview for the first match of the tournament featuring Simona Halep and Madison Keys is now up on the blog at the link below… the match will take place at 5pm local time (10am UK time).

Lucie and Beth have arrived in Singapore!

 

And finally, Kuznetsova’s qualification for Singapore is tough on Konta, who will be the number one alternate. Here’s an interview with Jo who talks about her holiday plans for the off-season.

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7 thoughts on “Saturday’s Set Points: Kuznetsova seals final place in Singapore, Niculescu dazzles in Luxembourg

  1. How good was that from Kuznetsova though?!
    Shame she has so little time to rest, because her first match is Radwanska, is it not? And she has a fabulous record against Aga.

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    • I agree that Sveta’s done extremely well to qualify (but also that it’s hard on Jo, who’s had to go home disappointed even after being included in some of the photographs in Singapore).

      One reason for this mess might have been that last year, you had the situation where players like Ana (Ivanovic) were playing in Luxembourg without realising that their scores weren’t going to count towards Singapore, so the WTA decided to do something different this time and let Moscow count (as no one playing in Luxembourg could have qualified for Singapore, it wasn’t relevant).

      So IMO, it comes down to a choice between two unsatisfactory ways of dealing with the fact that tournaments are still running at the very last minute before Singapore. The only answer is a less crowded calendar (but that opens up a can of worms of its own).

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      • Jo hasnt made a wasted journey. Had Moscow been a week earlier, she’d have still gone to Singapore as an alternate.
        At the end of the day, there was nobody stopping her from taking part in an event last week. I know she was injured, but that’s just life.

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