WTA Tour: 2018 WTA Finals Preview - 25 October

Tennis player holds racquet

Damien Kayat takes a look at the WTA finals taking place on the 25th of October at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

WTA Tour
WTA Finals
Singapore Indoor Stadium, Kallang, Singapore
White Group Final Matches- 25th October

Petra Kvitova (1/1) vs Karolina Pliskova (4/5)

The amount of permutations to consider going into this last match of the group phasesis fairly mind boggling.  Though Petra Kvitova has lost both her matches, she still maintains a glimmer of hope to qualify.  She needs to win in straight sets to match Pliskova’s win-loss ratio in sets.  Then it will come down to beating Pliskova’s percentage of games won.  Yet she would still require Svitolina to defeat Wozniacki in the other match.  So basically, the two-time Wimbledon Champion needs luck elsewhere and a tremendous performance against her compatriot.  Kvitova had a top-heavy season, winning a whopping five titles before Wimbledon began.  It seems as if the exertions of her tremendous comeback have caught up to her somewhat in recent weeks. 

Pliskova has had a less decorated season though it does seem to be trending in a more broadly positive way.  She started the year in metronomic mode, with a host of quarterfinal showings leading up to a tremendous victory in Stuttgart.  She also reached the semi-finals in Madrid, highlighting an uncharacteristically strong clay-court season.  Her quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows marked the beginning of a mini resurgence that saw her qualify for this season ending showpiece.  She won the Pan Pacific Open before losing the Tianjin Open Final.  Pliskova is a seasoned competitor and opened this event in devastating fashion against Wozniacki.  Her defeat against Svitolina was a tight one and she currently holds a narrow advantage over Wozniacki in the battle for 2nd and 3rd place. 

Kvitova leads the head-to-head 3-0, with a victory in Madrid already this season.  So that should give her an edge going into this match.  I just think that the stuffing was knocked out of Kvitova in that match against Wozniacki.  The 2011 Champion has enjoyed a wonderful comeback of Seles-Capriati proportions, but I just think she may run out of steam against Pliskova.  Pliskova would then be supporting Svitolina in her match against Wozniacki. 

Elina Svitolina (11/10) vs Caroline Wozniacki (8/11)

Caroline Wozniacki’s maiden Grand Slam triumph in Melbourne was just the highlight of a generally productive year for the Dane.  She picked up wins in Eastbourne more recently in China.  She hit a bit of a snag leading up to the US Open, losing three matches in a row between Washington and Cincinnati.  Wozniacki was absolutely battered in her first match against Karolina Pliskova.  She showed a lot of bottle to hold on against a resurgent Petra Kvitova, keeping her alive in her bid to retain her title.  Fans of the Dane will be concerned by the fact that she required the advent of a trainer in her win against Kvitova. It has been a long season and these high intensity matches do take their toll. 

Svitolina has been the surprise package of the event thus far, winning both of her matches and allowing her some breathing space atop the log.  She would require a combination of events to derail her progression, with a Kvitova victory in the other match ensuring her progression.  Svitolina has failed to really make an impression in Grand Slams despite a propensity to perform heroics in Premier 5 events.  She has won three times this year, most notably picking up that huge win in Rome.  But many would have looked at her leading into this group as a potential weak link, despite some impressive form on the North American hardcourts.  She thrashed Kvitova and managed to overcome Pliskova in a tight three setter.  Even if she were to lose here, winning a set would guarantee her a spot in the semi-finals. 

Svitolina leads the head-to-head 3-1, though their last meeting was a resounding Wozniacki victory in this self-same event last season.  Svitolina will be eager to gain that set which would seal her progression while Wozniacki’s fitness issues do concern me.  Both players may get what they want with a Wozniacki victory in three sets.  That would ensure Svitolina’s progression and the Dane would just be hoping that Kvitova upsets the applecart against Pliskova.  Wozniacki to win in three sets at 16/5 looks enticing, though that may not be enough if Pliskova prevails.   

Overall Group situation.  
Ultimately I see Svitolina and Pliskova progressing from this group.  

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Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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