By Ros Satar, in Singapore

  • Karolina Pliskova [4] v Svetlana Kuznetsova [8]
  • Agnieszka Radwanska [2] v Garbiñe Muguruza [5]
SINGAPORE – There is no place to hide now for defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska as she and Garbiñe Muguruza fight to keep their WTA Finals hopes alive.

 

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Agnieszka Radwanska [2] v Garbiñe Muguruza [5]

It was a very dejected Radwanska who came into her post-match press-conference – her 13th defeat against tour veteran really hurt.

She said: “Of course very disappointing, especially that I had a chance in the first and the third set and just slip away. So turn up like this I guess against those kind of players like Sveta when you’re not taking your chances, you’re not going to be a winner.

“Still a chance, especially I was two losses down last year. But of course at the moment you’re always thinking about the match that you just lost, so I think I need to cool down first and then I will think about what I have to do to go to the semi-finals.”

It is another tough match up though for the Pole, with another negative head to head to encounter except perhaps this is not as daunting, and a thin straw to cling on to is that last year she arrested a four match winning streak here in Singapore last year in a tight three setter.

Much like Kerber, Radwanska can typically run on and on, but Muguruza has solid doubles props and will happily come in and drop back as required, nullifying Radwanska’s legendary ninja skills.

There was a lot for Muguruza to take from her loss to Pliskova – it certainly feel like one of her better runs out since her landmark win, and we saw last year that she could definitely handle the court and the surroundings.

Muguruza admitted that she felt it had been natural to drop intensity a little after winning her first Grand Slam at the French Open. But more importantly they both need the win to keep their dreams of advancing alive.

The problem for Muguruza is that the court allows a player like Radwanska to have the time to go for her angles and that all important time on the ball.

Prediction: Radwanska in three sets.

 

Karolina Pliskova [4] v Svetlana Kuznetsova [8]

Before our pick of the day, however, we have the two winners of the group so far going head to head for only the second time, with the young Czech having got the better of Kuznetsova in the Cincinnati quarter-final on the way to the title.

Both players’ matches stood out for perhaps different reasons. Kuznetsova really had to be running on fumes but she has the kind of game that can really frustrate when it is on song.

The big hitting power of Pliskova though is another matter. By the time Cincinnati rolled round, the Czech had not only hit a groove with her game, but had the confidence to stick with her game plan because she knows that her serve can more often than not get her out of trouble.

A lot now depends on how much Kuznetsova has got left in the tank. Pliskova has yet to start with the doubles campaign and is on younger and fresher legs. While she has some potent serving of her own, Pliskova’s long levers get her to tricky serves out wide. She will of course be still vulnerable on her movement and that has to be where Kuznetsova will try and make inroads.

Prediction: Pliskova in two sets.

 

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