SINGAPORE – For the first time at the WTA Finals, two players who went 1-2 in the groups have now reached the finals: Aga Radwanska surprised the up-and-coming Garbine Muguruza 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5, while Petra Kvitova out-hit Maria Sharapova 6-3 7-6(3).
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The 22-year-old Muguruza, who is ranked No. 3, was worn down in the season’s final tournament. Even
though she was tired after a tough week as she was competing in singles and doubles, she nearly came though.
“I just wanted to give everything I had, and doesn’t matter how long I was going to be able to keep it. I just went out there, and if I die on the court, I die, but at least I go out from there happy,” the Spaniard said.
Like Muguruza, Sharapova was 3-0 entering the semifinal. She had beaten Kvitova five of the last six times, but the Czech couldn’t let her breath. She came right at her and didn’t stop. Sharapova knows that when Kvitova is on fire, it’s hard to handle her.
“She’s a very aggressive player. She has a lot of depth and power. She goes for her shots. I think when she commits to her game and she executes, it’s a very powerful game,” Sharapova said.
Somewhat amazingly, Kvitova and Radwanska have played eight times, with the Czech owning with a 6-2 edge. However, the 25 year olds have played four WTA Finals, in 2011, when Kvitova won the title, beating the Pole in straights in the Round Robin in Istanbul; in 2012, when Radwanska won in straight sets in a Round Robin; in 2013, with the Czech winning in straight sets and in 2014, when ‘Aga’ won easily last year in the Round Robin at Singapore.
They are tied up in the WTA Finals. While Kvitova has been a better player overall, Radwanska is on a roll. The contest should be very close.
“It’s difficult opponent, for sure,” Kvitova said. “She’s very smart. I think she has a lot the variety on the court. She getting so many balls, so sometimes it feels that she’s never‑ending story on the court.
So it’s really about the patient and still be kind of sharp, but playing a lot of shots and rallies. It’s difficult. So both of us will leave everything.”