By Ros Satar, in Singapore
- Caroline Wozniacki  def. Simona Halep  6-0 6-2
- Caroline Garcia  def. Elina Svitolina  6-7(7) 6-3 7-5
SINGAPORE – A dominant display by Caroline Wozniacki leaves Simona Halep with it all to do to qualify, but the night belonged to Caroline Garcia and her comeback over Elina Svitolina.
Caroline Wozniacki  def. Simona Halep  6-0 6-2
Former WTA Finals finalist Caroline Wozniacki made things look very easy as she blasted past World No. 1 Simona Halep for the loss of just two games. As a player who has the measure of this court, her mix of defence and attack stood her in good stead. Just as in her first match, everything was working, while on the other side of the net Halep struggled to make anything happen. With that win Wozniacki qualifies for the semi-finals, and is rightly feeling quite confident of her game.
She said: “I don’t think it’s ever easy when you play a world No. 1. I thought I played really well out there. I felt comfortable and played aggressive when I needed to and ran the balls down when I needed to.”
With a commanding margin, she leaves it all to do for Halep, who admitted it was just a bad day at the office.
“I think it was one of my bad days. I made too many mistakes and she didn’t miss. So I think I played both sides. Also I did some good shots, good points, and I missed too many to win a match.”
Caroline Garcia  def. Elina Svitolina  6-7(7) 6-3 7-5
The night belonged to the two debutants in a see-saw battle of wills in the second match. Although both lost their openers, Caroline Garcia maybe had the edge in terms of competitive in her match against Halep. While Elina Svitolina had found some semblance of humour after her opening loss, it was a very different story after coming from 2-4 down in the first set and 0-4 down in the tie-break to take the lead, Garcia rallied to take the second set, saving three break points on her way to set point.
Svitolina was the first to strike in the decider, but was broke straight back by the Frenchwoman. Facing a second defeat after the Ukrainian broke once more, Garcia responded by reeling off the next four games on the bounce, breaking twice before serving out for the match. It is hard to fathom the pressure on the debutants at the WTA Finals. It looked as though nerves had first grappled with Garcia in the first set and it was a desolate Svitolina who struggled to find any answers to why one of the most consistent players this year has been all at sea.
She said: “For her it was also first time. So it was in the same situation, both. I mean, I wish I knew what was happening today with my game, because even though it’s 7-5 in the third — my game was completely off.
“Yeah, just like this week — of course, I was expecting better week, better tennis from my side, but unfortunately everything goes wrong this week, everything.”
In obvious contrast, Garcia latched back on to the self-belief she had in her run up to the tournament – two big wins on her side, and there was of course no shame to losing to the World No. 1 in her opening round.
“It was so many up-and-down in this matches, a little bit like the one we played in Beijing. I mean, I know in the last set she serve very well, up to until 5-3, and then no first serve.
“So I know this was my chances, so I went for it. I tried to be even more aggressive, tried to use down-the-line, and I was more and more accurate and I went for it on the good shots. I was patient on the long rallies, and it makes the difference.”
When her back was against the wall, there were some amazing shots coming from the Frenchwoman, including a nifty one-handed backhand – which was quite the favourite.
“Did you see the backhand one hand? (Laughter.) this one I always missed it, this forehand (scooping action). I did it today. And the one-handed backhand, I was like, trying to be so much like careful, and I made it.
“But it was, like, so many great rallies. I went couple of times to the net, but I got passed so many times. But I kept trying, and I did it. [I hit] one [before]. It was a winner. So it’s my second one. I’m pretty proud of myself (laughter).”
Wozniacki & Garcia are scheduled not before 4pm (9am BST) on Friday, with Halep & Svitolina not before 7:30pm (12:30pm BST).
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