WTA Finals RR: (5) Agnieszka Radwanska vs (7) Flavia Pennetta
Tuesday’s first match from the red group will be a virtual elimination match when Agnieszka Radwanska come up against Flavia Pennetta. Aga and Flavia both lost their opening group matches on Sunday, meaning a loss on Tuesday would make it almost impossible to qualify for the semi-finals. Aga and Flavia have built up a competitive rivalry over the last couple of years, splitting their four most recent encounters.
Agnieszka Radwanska squandered a wonderful opportunity to claim a rare victory over Maria Sharapova on Sunday night, succumbing to a 6-4 3-6 4-6 defeat. The Pole played a magical first set, coming up with multiple trademark trick shots. However Aga was unable to maintain her high level for long enough, making a slow start to the second set and allowing Sharapova to grow in confidence. The third set was extremely close and could have really gone either way but Aga would once again stumble at the finish line. Aga has a chance to redeem herself on Tuesday and keep her WTA Finals campaign alive by defeating Pennetta, an opponent she has traditionally done pretty well against and should match up well against.
Flavia Pennetta made a really disappointing start to her first WTA Finals campaign on Sunday, suffering a comprehensive 0-6 3-6 defeat to Simona Halep. Flavia never really looked settled and ended the match with 27 unforced errors and just 11 winners. Flavia will need to significantly raise her level on Tuesday if she is to record a victory and keep her Singapore campaign alive. Flavia will take some confidence into this match having comprehensively defeated Radwanska twice last year.
Aga holds a 5-3 head-to-head record over Pennetta, however Pennetta has won 2 of the last 3 encounters between the pair. Pennetta famously thrashed Radwanska 6-2 6-1 in the final at Indian Wells last year. It was Radwanska who won the most recent match, a comprehensive 6-1 6-1 victory in Doha earlier this year.
Although both ladies lost in their opening group matches, Radwanska was clearly more impressive in defeat. The slow, dead courts in Singapore really don’t suit Flavia, she is likely to struggle to find ways to hit through Radwanska on this match. Aga’s form in the lead up to this event has been far more encouraging and with her spot in the tournament on the line I suspect she will too good for Flavia.