By Ros Satar, in Singapore

  • Caroline Wozniacki [6] v Caroline Garcia [8]
  • Simona Halep [1] v Elina Svitolina [4]
SINGAPORE – The final day of round-robin matches is on the racquet of Simona Halep to lose as she bids to make the knockout stages of the WTA Finals.

 

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Caroline Wozniacki [6] v Caroline Garcia [8] | H2H: Wozniacki leads 2-0

Caroline Wozniacki | WTA Finals 2017, Singapore

Caroline Wozniacki | WTA Finals 2017, Singapore (c) Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

Although most eyes will be on Simona Halep later in the evening, there is plenty at stake in this match too, Caroline Wozniacki has been by far the most dominant and consistent performer in the tournament, She has dropped just four games on her path to the semi-final, and really has had the measure of the court, with lop-sided results to show for it.

While the court rewards the counter-punching variety favoured by the Dane, the high-flying Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia impressed in her match against No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina to give herself a passing shout. If the Ukrainian and the Frenchwoman win their final matches, Garcia will advance in place of Halep.

To do that though, she will have to snap her two-match losing streak against Wozniacki with the losses coming on hard courts and fairly comfortably in the Dane’s favour to boot.

That being said, Wozniacki last faced Garcia in 2015 and it is fair to say a lot has happened since then. Injuries have helped fuel the Frenchwoman’s resolve and this year she has been rewarded with a surge in form that rode her into the final berth. Her tenacity against Svitolina proved she deserved to be here.

Both players have great court coverage, and Garcia can mix up her game with a lot of doubles prowess to call upon. While it will be a tough match for Garcia to cover off, this could well be more of a challenge than Wozniacki has yet had to face.

Prediction: Wozniacki in three sets.

 

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Simona Halep [1] v Elina Svitolina [4]

The bad-day pixies had a field day on the second round-robin stage of the Red Group. First a flat Halep struggled to make any kind of impact on Wozniacki, before Svitolina perhaps saw her greatest chance to come away with a win slip away with a resurgent performance from Garcia.

Halep at least was able to rationalise her performance: “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.”

Elina Svitolina | WTA Finals 2017, Singapore

Elina Svitolina | WTA Finals 2017, Singapore (c) Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

It was a polar opposite for Svitolina though, who cut an exceptionally dejected figure in the press conference. For one of the year’s most consistent players, indeed with the most titles this year out of the field, she said:

“Of course, I was expecting [a] better week, better tennis from my side, but unfortunately everything goes wrong this week, everything.”

On being told she has a chance to qualify (she has to beat Halep in straight sets, and for Wozniacki to win), she dejectedly said:

“Really? I wish I had no chance to qualify, but — yeah, okay.”

The head to head is split down the middle, and each have a win on hard courts to boot. But the memory of the loss to Svitolina in Toronto might smart for Halep, who was battered off court for the loss of just two games.

This really is on Halep’s racquet to lose. She has the variety to make this court work for her. She can get to balls, she can inject pace, and her court movement is smart and nimble, but Svitolia will be playing for pride on her final match out.

It just seemed like it would be a tough ask for the Ukrainian to pick herself up after two tough losses here on her debut.

Prediction: Halep in two sets.

Wozniacki & Garcia are scheduled not before 4pm (9am BST), with Halep & Svitolina not before 7:30pm (12:30pm BST).

Main Image: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

 

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