…….. Karolina Pliskova beats Caroline Wozniacki
Elina Svitolina of Ukraine beat Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 in the first match of the WTA Finals on Sunday to snap a seven-match losing streak against the Czech player.
The seventh-ranked Svitolina, making her second consecutive appearance in Singapore, only earned qualification to this year’s tournament last week when Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens failed to reach the Moscow semifinals. Later, Bertens made the final eight when No. 1-ranked Simona Halep withdrew with a herniated disk in her back.
”It’s very nice to be back in Singapore and I’m very, very happy with the match tonight, with the performance tonight,” Svitolina told the crowd. ”I had to stay focused and be strong mentally. I had to play quickly and keep moving my feet so I need a massage now.
”You have to play your best level because everybody is very strong playing here.”
Svitolina, who now holds a 1-0 record in the White Group, had only beaten Kvitova once before in their first match at the 2014 Cincinnati tournament. Sunday’s victory was Svitolina’s first against a top-10 opponent since May.
The fifth-ranked Kvitova, who won the year-end title in 2011, never looked settled and struggled with her serve throughout the 1 hour, 29 minutes match. Her first serve percentage was a meagre 55, which made the task of beating Svitolina near impossible.
She double-faulted seven times in the match, including on set point in the first for Svitolina. Six of her seven double faults came in the first set.
Meanwhile, Karolina Pliskova beat defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-4 on Sunday.
Czech world number eight Pliskova, 26, broke early in both sets to win in one hour 32 minutes in the White Group.
Australian Open champion Wozniacki, from Denmark, failed to win any of the 10 break points she created.
The top two players from each round-robin group will progress to the semi-finals, with the final on 28 October.
In the Red Group on Monday, Japan’s US Open champion Naomi Osaka plays American Sloane Stephens, while top seed Angelique Kerber, from Germany, meets the Netherlands’ Kiki Bertens.
The Finals are being held in Singapore for the fifth and final time before moving to Shenzhen in China.