(4) Simona Halep vs (6) Agnieszka Radwanska
Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep have an opportunity of a lifetime to reach the final of the WTA Finals in Singapore when they square off in Saturday’s second semi-final. Both Aga and Simona lost their final group stage matches, but both remain a chance to claim the biggest titles of their careers.
Aga is the only player to progress to the semi-finals having won only one of her three group stage matches. Aga made a positive start to her Singapore campaign with a straight sets victory over Petra Kvitova, however she was unable to outhit a solid Wozniacki in her second match, going down in two tight sets.
Aga needed to win at least one set to keep her WTA Finals campaign alive on Friday against Maria Sharapova. Aga looked to be stumbling out of the tournament when she trailed a set and 1-5. However the Pole managed to stick around, saving three match points on route to winning 5 straight games. Aga eventually forced the match into a decider, winning a nervy tiebreaker. After an 8 minute leave from court, Maria managed to turn things around, despite no longer being able to progress to the semi-finals, Maria played some great tennis to close out the third set 6-2. It’s quite remarkable that Aga has lost two matches in a row, yet she is still in contention to win the biggest title of her career.
Simona Halep caused one of the biggest shocks of the season in her second match in Singapore. The Romanian cruised past a wayward Serena Williams 6-0 6-2 to claim the biggest victory of her career. Needing only 6 games against Ana Ivanovic to progress to the semi-finals, Halep got off to a promising start to take a 5-2 lead. However Simona seemed to really tighten up as a determined Ana Ivanovic fought back to take the opening set in a tiebreaker. Despite the match now being a dead rubber for the Romanian, Simona rallied to deny Ana a place in the semi-finals, taking the second set 6-3. The third set really lacked intensity, with both players having nothing to play for, Ana eventually prevailed 6-3.
Aga has a 4-2 head to head record over Simona. The two have met on 2 previous occasions this season, both claiming one victory apiece. Simona won their first meeting, a 7-5 6-2 victory in Doha. Aga avenged that loss with a high quality 6-3 6-4 victory over the Romanian in the semi-finals at Indian Wells.
This is a really tough match to call; I suspect Aga’s superior experience in big matches will give her an edge in this match. Simona seemed to really tighten up against Ana, despite the match being a dead rubber. To me that is a really bad sign. Aga’s fight and determination against Maria was a very good sign. Simona will struggle to hit past Aga, the Pole will eventually prevail in three sets.
Prediction: Aga Radwanska to defeat Simona Halep in 3 sets