The 2017 WTA Finals final will be contested between Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki after a great pair of semi-finals on Super Saturday in Singapore. Wozniacki outlasted Karolina Pliskova in straight sets, 7-6(9) 6-3 with the pair sharing a brutal opening set that lasted 81 minutes. Both players had six set points in the opener – Pliskova missed three with Wozniacki serving at *4-5, while the Dane missed all five of hers in a row from 6-1 up in the tiebreak.
It was a high-quality opener and I thought Pliskova committed valiantly to the match, knowing it was going to be gruelling throughout on this surface. The Czech player had her chances and who knows how this would have developed if she had taken one of those set points. For Wozniacki, she did well to stay with it in the tiebreak after blowing her set points and played the set points against her with real conviction. I was impressed with the subtle touches of aggression from Wozniacki who was not afraid to step in when the opportunity arose.
I liked Wozniacki’s assessment of the first set and how she felt during that first set tiebreak! 😂
By virtue of Wozniacki’s win over Pliskova, Simona Halep will end the year as the world number one.
The second semi-final had some glorious moments as Venus Williams battled from a set down to beat Caroline Garcia, 6-7(3) 6-2 6-3 in two hours and 29 minutes. Venus is just amazing. I thought the American was so dynamic in the decider and dropped just seven points behind her serve including digging out of a *0-40 hole in the final game. On this slow court, I loved how she used angles and looked to come forward on occasion.
What an end to the year for Garcia. Just brilliant. Please bring this level next year, CarGar!
Of the four possible finals, Venus Williams vs. Caroline Wozniacki was the one I wanted to see! The pair haven’t played since 2015 with Williams taking a 7-0 head-to-head lead into the final and having dropped just one set in all those matches in the Auckland final from two years ago.
Even with the head-to-head, I think it’s going to take something extraordinary from Williams to recover from her semi-final match and outlast Wozniacki on this surface. It took a lights-out ending from Garcia who found the lines on key points to beat Wozniacki on Friday. The way that Williams played her semi-final is a good sign though with her use of the angles and playing with so much intensity at the end. Backing up results on back-to-back days has been challenging this year for Williams, but it’s the last match of the year!
Slightly torn because who am I to write off Venus and with the head-to-head so dominantly in her favour. I do think though that Caroline is playing some of her best tennis and the surface is just perfect for her.
The doubles final will be contested between Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova and Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson – this will be played at 4pm local time on Sunday. While i’m really pleased to see the WTA airing doubles matches on their new WTA Live Matches Facebook page, i’m generally disappointed by the lack of coverage on their social media pages during the matches.
Babos and Hlavackova beat Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Chan, snapping their 19 (!) match winning streak with a 6-4 7-6(5) victory in Hingis’s last match. The other semi-final also produced a shock as Bertens and Larsson knocked out the defending champs, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, 6-4 6-3.