WTA Finals – The Semi-Finals | Podcast

 

By Ros Satar, in Singapore

  • Angelique Kerber and Dominika Cibulkova top the Red Group
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova has become the story of the finals, topping the White Group
  • Can defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska edge Karolina Pliskova to make the semi-finals
SINGAPORE – We are getting to the pointy end of a heated battle between the year’s eight best players – we look at the line-up ahead of the deciding group stage matches

 

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Angelique Kerber

Getting progressively better as she has gone on

New found confidence

First time into the semi-finals

Almost defined by the epic meltdown of last year

Avoids Svetlana Kuznetsova by finishing top of the group

 

Dominika Cibulkova

 

First match against Kerber was a thriller but perhaps nerves played their part

Really struggled to get into her rhythm against Madison Keys, but perked up once she knew she had another chance

High quality match against Simona Halep, but still had to wait for Kerber’s match to know if she had made it

Great year for her – not the first time she has had to put her plans on hold – almost postponed her wedding with her run in Wimbledon

Currently on a five match winning streak against Kuznetsova

Svetlana Kuznetsova

 

Talk about a literal journey – Moscow Title to tough three-setters

Has also advanced past the round robins for the first time

On a six match winning streak including winning the Kremlin Cup

Just one win away from her 600th match win (all levels)

Oldest member of the final eight, with Madison Keys making her WTA Finals debut as the youngest player

 

Agnieszka Radwanska

 

Only player with a 1-2 record in the round robin to advance out of the group stages and win the title (2015)

Defeating Garbiñe Muguruza gave her her 10th WTA Finals win – fourth on the leaderboard of active players

Looking to be the 8th player to successfully defend a WTA Finals title

In form – she sits behind Kerber with 42 hard court wins – 2nd to the German’s 44

6-0 record over Karolina Pliskova – but is 0-3 against Top 5 ranked players this year

 

Karolina Pliskova

Had a thrilling start to her debut, battling from behind in the final set against Muguruza to get her first win on her WTA Finals debut

Was outlasted though by Kuznetsova, but also looked to be feeling it a little in her shoulder, and was strapped up in her doubles

It’s all or nothing for Radwanska or Pliskova – winner grabs the final semi-final spot and finishes second in the group

Has to get not only her first win but her first set off Radwanska

Only player this year to be in both the singles and the doubles draw – was eliminated with partner Julia Goerges in the first round.

 

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