Singapore Final: (5) Agnieszka Radwanska vs (4) Petra Kvitova
History will be made on Sunday at the WTA Finals in Singapore when Agnieszka Radwanska comes up against Petra Kvitova for the title. For the first time a player that lost 2 matches in the group stage will win the title. This is a wonderful opportunity for both Aga and Petra, both have dealt with a lot in 2015, it will be a fairy-tale finish to the year for whoever emerges victorious on Sunday.
Agnieszka Radwanska became the first Pole to reach the Final at the WTA Finals courtesy of a stunning 6-7 6-3 7-5 semi-final victory over Garbine Muguruza. It was an epic match full of momentum swings. Radwanska seemed to be in control of the 1st set tiebreaker, but squandered a 4-1 lead to loss the 1st set. Aga had to dig deep to turn the match around and she did just that, changing the dynamic of the match with a fast start to the 2nd set. After levelling the match at 1 set all, Aga seemed to be in total control of the match when she opened up a 4-1 lead in the deciding set. However Garbine came storming back to level the match at 4-4. Aga did extremely well to keep her composure and absorb everything Garbine threw at her and ultimately outlast her opponent.
What started out as such a disappointing week for Aga has now turned into an extremely successful week. After slumping to 0-2 in the group stage, no one could have imagined that Aga would be in Sunday’s final. Radwanska came extremely close to being eliminated from the group stage against Simona Halep, Aga needed to win in straight sets and found herself down 1-5 in the 1st set tiebreaker, from there Radwanska would win 6 straight points to keep her tournament alive. Aga would ultimately go on to win the match 7-6 6-1, with her victory over Muguruza on Saturday Aga has now won back-to-back matches against top 5 opponents and has reached 50 wins in season 2015.
Radwanska’s attitude in her last two matches has been very impressive, she has looked to be much more aggressive and has brought a much better intensity to the court. The Pole was rewarded with 2 of her best victories of the year and will need to bring that attitude to the court on Sunday if she is to claim the biggest tile of her career against an opponent she has a poor record against.
Petra Kvitova’s form during the group stage was generally quite uninspiring. The Czech started the week with a straight sets loss to Angelique Kerber before defeating Lucie Safarova in straight sets in what was a pretty messy match. Petra slumped to 1-2 in the white group courtesy of a 3 set loss to Garbine Muguruza. It seemed like Petra’s Singapore campaign was over as she needed Lucie Safarova to defeat Angelique Kerber to advance to the semi-finals. However Safarova pulled off the miracle and sent Kvitova into the semi-finals.
Petra’s 6-3 7-6 semi-final victory over Maria Sharapova was clearly her best performance of the week. Petra brought a superior intensity to the court, raising her level to suit the occasion. Kvitova stunned Maria in the first set and it seemed like the Russian would respond by sending the match to a decider. Sharapova led 5-1 in the second set but Kvitova would stage a stunning comeback to force a tiebreaker. Kvitova played an extremely solid tiebreak to secure her spot in Sunday’s final. Kvitova will be aiming for her second WTA Finals title, she will be confident heading into the match given her record against Radwanska.
Petra Kvitova holds a 6-2 head-to-head record over Radwanska and has won 3 of the last 4 encounters between the pair. Their most reverent match was in New Haven earlier this year, Kvitova prevailed 7-5 6-4. Perhaps their most relevant previous meeting was in Singapore last year where Radwanska claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-3 victory over Petra.
I really like Radwanska’s chances in this match. Aga has played beautiful tennis in her last 2 matches and will be extremely desperate to claim the biggest title of her career. Kvitova’s form during the group stage was poor but she somehow managed to play an amazing match against Sharapova, I doubt Kvitova will be able to produce a similar performance on Sunday.
The surface in Singapore actually favours Radwanska in this match-up, the Pole will be able to absorb enough of Kvitova’s pace on these dead courts. Radwanska just needs to play like she has in her last 2 matches and she will get the victory in this match. I still don’t think Kvitova is in a good place physically and Radwanska will expose this.