Monday’s Set Points, 2016 WTA Finals Singapore: Day 2 Media Round-up

Set PointsTuesday was an EVENTFUL day in Singapore as both matches from the white group were decided 7-5 in the deciding sets… and both winners saved match points to prevail! In the first match of the day, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Agnieszka Radwanska played out a wonderful match, which was a clinic of all-court tennis and variety. Kuznetsova saved a match point with a tremendous display to win, 7-5 1-6 7-5 in two hours and 48 minutes.

Catching up on this match on Twitter while I was at work… Sveta cut her hair during one of the changeovers in the third set?!

Back to the match and there were so many superb points. The WTA match highlights are well worth a watch back…

If I had to pick out one point, I loved the one linked below from the first set.

This was a tough one for Aga, even more so as she had held match point against Kuznetsova in Wuhan earlier this month before losing out in three sets. Radwanska played a poor game trying to serve out the match at *5-4 in the third set with a tight backhand into the net on her match point. Understandably, she sounded sad in press…

For Kuznetsova, this was a truly magnificent effort. In the last three weeks, she’s been from Tianjin to Moscow to Singapore, and with just one day to adjust to Singapore after a ten hour + flight. I’m bowing down to you, Sveta.

The second match of the day looked like it may be over swiftly… up a set and a break at 6-2 3-1, Karolina Pliskova was in the driving seat against Garbiñe Muguruza. However, the match took one of *many* wild turns. Muguruza reeled off four straight games before forcing a deciding set with a positive showing in the second set tiebreak.

The third set was probably one of the craziest i’ve watched all year. Muguruza played some blinding tennis to go up *4-0 but twice failed to serve out the match at *5-2 and *5-4 including a match point with a volley into the net. A panicked and crumbling Muguruza completely lost her way as a rejuvenated Pliskova won the last five games and 16 of the last 20 points to secure a first ever win at the WTA Finals.

This will be a tough one for Muguruza to overcome. She had some tense and frankly, rather awkward changeover chats with coach, Sam Sumyk.

For Pliskova, it was her fourth consecutive win over Muguruza and she’s planning on sleeping tomorrow…

With Kerber v Halep on the schedule for Tuesday, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see another late finish tomorrow. It’s so tough on the players to have to play this late although Garbiñe said in her press conference that she didn’t have a problem with it.

A preview post for day 3’s matches including Kerber v Halep and Keys v Cibulkova is now up on the blog at the link below.

I enjoyed the WTA Insider podcast from day 1 which had interviews with Simona Halep and Johanna Konta… it’s good to hear Jo in such high spirits.

A few tidbits of news away from Singapore… Sara Errani has split with her long-term coach.

In the podcast above, Konta said she is hoping to play the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai but it’s not 100% confirmed yet. Caroline Wozniacki though won’t be there due to a foot injury.

And finally, I had a scroll through the new rankings this morning…

#43 Belinda Bencic

#47 Eugenie Bouchard

#50 Sara Errani

#56 Jelena Jankovic

#57 Andrea Petkovic

#63 Lucie Safarova

#64 Ana Ivanovic

The Australian Open draw will be huge…

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15 thoughts on “Monday’s Set Points, 2016 WTA Finals Singapore: Day 2 Media Round-up

  1. Svetlana Kuznetsova is a Goddess. That match was a contender for match of the year for me. It had absolutely everything. In the third set when Kuznetsova cut her hair and later cried, I thought she lost it, but she just kept mixing things up and going for her shots.
    Regardless of if she wins another match this week, she’s the winner for me. 🙂

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    • Haha! I knew you’d be thrilled at that result. I watched the first set and a bit at work and now just watched the decider. It was a brilliant match and will definitely in my top 20.

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      • I think there are things both women could have done better but there were some staggering rallies that top Kerber v Cibulkova for me, since they contained more finesse and variety.

        Really interested to see how this group pans out. Can Pliskova finally beat Radwanska? Kuznetsova could well be a semi finalist if she can put up a fight in her next two matches. If she has anything at all left…

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      • I was just thinking about this, I think Kuznetsova-Radwanska was my favourite match of the tournament so far. Some of those points were just majestic.

        And I have NO IDEA how this group will pan out! It’s exciting though.

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    • I don’t know Sveta’s game as well as you evidently do Andrew, but there’s got to be a reason she’s won two slams in the past. I’m happy to join you in your elation at her having won this match.

      BTW, Sveta cutting her hair on court – could that start a trend?.

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      • Its no real secret that she’s the most talented player on the wta. She’s one of the first women who really chose tennis (her family are Olympic cyclists) and her obvious passion has led her to master every shot and technique in the game. Even Rafa and Federer have remarked on how extraordinary her mastery of the ball is.
        The reason she only ever won two is because she doesn’t really have a drive to win. She was known as being a joker when she first hit the scene and she was the kind of girl who would feel bad about beating her friends, which she’s always had plenty. Even now she insists she only plays for enjoyment and winning is a bonus. It’s a healthy attitude, but not the mindset of a champion.

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      • That’s interesting Andrew, thanks for that info. The only other player I can think of who chose tennis in the way you say Sveta did was Ana Ivanovic; her mother wanted her to train as a ballet dancer, but she saw Monica Seles playing tennis on TV and badgered her parents to buy her a tennis racket (they weren’t keen at first).

        It’s very much the norm in tennis for one or both parents of future pros to be coaches, probably because the game takes so long to learn to play at a good level that the top players tend to start very young. For example, there’s a video clip on Petra’s website of her as pretty much a toddler hitting balls towards a net.

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      • The other noteworthy player to choose tennis was Novak Djokovic. He comes from a family of established skiiers. His family encouraged their children to play all kinds of sports and he just took to tennis. A couple years later he was spotted by Jelena Gencic, the coach of Monica Seles, who encouraged his parents to have him trained.

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  2. I think that a fresher Kuznetsova would have won this comfortably. Aga should really have won the first set after a good start but she did not play as well as usual and seemed jaded and looked as tired as her opponent at times. I remember that Aga lost her opening match last year and still won this event but she will have to up her game in her next 2 matches if she is going to reach the semi’s this year.

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