Ahead of her third and final round robin match, Dominika Cibulkova knew she had to beat Simona Halep in straight sets to stand a chance of qualifying… and she did it! Cibulkova was two points away from going out but handled the pressure exceptionally well, prevailing 6-3 7-6(5) in one hour and 48 minutes.
Cibulkova made a lightning-fast start in the first set but was forced to battle hard in the second set against a very brave effort from Halep, who had her left knee strapped up. The second half of the second set was fantastic.
There were some superb points in this match. The pick of the bunch was the first point of the tiebreak.
Cibulkova’s press conference was fun as she talked about what she would do waiting for the Keys-Kerber result, end-of-season holidays and her dad!
To qualify, Cibulkova had to rely on Angelique Kerber beating Madison Keys in straight sets… and again, that’s what happened! Kerber produced yet another secure display with an improving serve, beating Keys, 6-3 6-3 for her third straight sets win over the American in 2016.
This is the first time that Kerber has ever qualified for the semi-finals of the WTA Finals and she did it in style, going 3-0 through the round robin group stage. Kerber had a bit of a shaky Asian swing but once again in 2016, she has brought her A-game to the big tournaments.
If Keys had made this passing shot then it would have been point of the tournament! It will still pretty good…
Love this shot of Madison.
Like Simona, Madison is done for the year and can start her off-season. She talked about dealing with the nerves in her press conference.
The doubles tournament began on Thursday in Singapore. In the first of the doubles quarter-finals, Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia saved 11 (!) break points to defeat Karolina Pliskova and Julia Goerges in straight sets, 6-4 6-2.
Garcia and Mladenovic will play Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the semi-finals after the US Open champs saved three match points (!) to come back against Yaroslava Shvedova and Timea Babos, 5-7 7-6(6) 10-2.
Yay for Lucie and Beth!
And finally, this was random but did make me laugh!