The red group will take centre stage on Wednesday at the 2017 WTA Finals in Singapore. A blockbuster clash between Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki will be followed by a Beijing rematch between Elina Svitolina and Caroline Garcia. For a round-up of the first matches from the red group on Monday, click HERE. Read on for previews for day 4…
1. Simona Halep vs. Caroline Wozniacki (Wednesday, 7:30pm local time)
The winners from Monday, Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki, will go head-to-head for the sixth time in their career and second time in 2017. Both were in superb form to record straight set opening round robin wins – Halep was better in the key moments and served especially well to overturn a recent loss to Caroline Garcia and win, 6-4 6-2, while Wozniacki produced another aggressive display to defeat an out-of-sorts, Elina Svitolina, 6-2 6-0. The Dane had previously gone 0-3 against Svitolina and lost both of their 2017 clashes in straight sets.
Head-to-head record: Wozniacki leads Halep, 3-2 in their head-to-head. In their only match from 2017, Wozniacki prevailed in a rollercoaster clash from Eastbourne, 5-7 6-4 6-1. I was lucky enough to watch that one live – good memories! The post below is one of my favourite from the year as I got to sit in on their press conferences. It’s worth noting that both players had already played a match on that day before the quarter-final match.
Interesting stat: Both players served great in their opener – Halep won 71% of points behind her second serve, more than her first serve, while Wozniacki did not drop her serve once and lost just 13 points on serve.
Final thoughts: I’ve got really high hopes for this match as a contest! Both played really well on Monday and are clearly feeling confident. Halep seems to be taking her climb to world number one in her stride, while Wozniacki’s form has been super strong AND consistent since the US Open. Both have been using their serve as a weapon – I’d say Wozniacki’s first serve can give her more free points, but Halep has been defending superbly behind her second serve since Beijing.
The head-to-head is close and it will come down to who plays the better match on the day – I don’t think either player has any mental baggage in this match-up.
Here we go again… I could see it going either way! I’ll go for Woz 🤷🤷🤷
2. Elina Svitolina vs. Caroline Garcia (Wednesday, 2nd match after 7:30pm local time)
Another Beijing rematch is on the cards from the red group as Elina Svitolina and Caroline Garcia will square off against each other with a first ever win at the WTA Finals up for grabs. Neither played their best in their Singapore debut – Svitolina lacked rhythm and intensity, and described her loss against Caroline Wozniacki as one of her worst from the last two years as she went down in under an hour, 2-6 0-6. Garcia started well but the errors began to flow up against a relentless performance from Simona Halep, 4-6 2-6.
Head-to-head record: The pair are tied at 1-1 in their head-to-head. Garcia won their most recent match in Beijing, saving a match point in the final set tiebreak with a crashing down-the-line winner, eventually prevailing, 6-7(5) 7-5 7-6(6) in one of the longest matches of the year.
Interesting stat: Svitolina’s loss to Wozniacki was her most one-sided loss since the Olympics last year where she won just two games against Petra Kvitova.
Final thoughts: It’s becoming apparent that this is a court that takes time to adjust to so i’d guess both will improve from their opening round matches. Garcia will obviously have happy memories from their match in Beijing where she showed nerves of steel to score the win. The Ukrainian player spoke in her press conference about having multiple chances to win that match.
I’d take Svitolina in this one – she has been extremely resilient in going up against players she has suffered tough losses to and then reversing the result the next time they’ve played (vs. Kerber & Halep spring to mind).