WTA SINGAPORE: Jet-lagged Kuznetsova thwarts Radwanska; Pliskova wraps up bemusing win over Muguruza



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WTA SINGAPORE: Jet-lagged Kuznetsova thwarts Radwanska; Pliskova wraps up bemusing win over Muguruza

Much like the opening day, the second day of the WTA finals in Singapore had a lot to offer. The While Group opened its campaign, with Svetlana Kuznetsova and defending titlist Agnieszka Radwanska starting the day’s play.

Here’s a recap of the match action: [8] Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) def. [2] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) The Russian’s qualification in Singapore was the result of a last-minute wild-card and eventual win in Moscow, last week.

Her harried stop in Singapore meant that she had to deal with jet-lag and fatigue in her first match against Radwanska. None of these factors stopped Kuznetsova, who came back from behind convincingly in the match to secure a win in two hours and 48 minutes.

She also managed to find enough time to give herself a hair-cut during a changeover. In the first set, Radwanska raced to a 4-1 lead, but the eighth seed broke back to equal the set at 4-4. Kuznetsova broke Radwanska for the second time in the set, in the 11th game and served out the set to clinch it 7-5.

She lost the first set, yet it was Radwanska, who stood her ground in the match. By way of a composed second set that she won 6-1 with three breaks on Kuznetsova’s serve. The sole game that Kuznetsova won in the second set came courtesy of a break on the Pole’s serve.

Kuznetsova’s inability to hold her serves continued into the third set, until the third game of the set. A total of seven service breaks were exchanged in the final set, three that Radwanska pocketed and four that Kuznetsova got.

Radwanska broke the Russian’s serve for the third time in the ninth game of the set and served for the match in the 10th game. But Kuznetsova broke back, went on to hold on solidly in the next game and then, in the 12th game, on her third match point got the win for herself.

Both players had similar percentage of first serves, 66% for Radwanska and 67% for Kuznetsova. Both also won similar percentage of points off their first serves, 56% for Radwanska and 55 for Kuznetsova. Kuznetsova had five aces and four double faults, while Radwanska hit four aces and two double faults.

In terms of total points won, it was Radwanska, who won more – 108 to Kuznetsova’s 104. [4] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) def. [5] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-5 Pliskova and Muguruza played out a bizarre match before the Czech capitalised on the Spaniard's nerves to pocket a win in two-and-a-half hours.

Pliskova raced ahead comfortably, winning the first set 6-2. She also looked to be on course to wrap up the match in straight sets as she secured an early break to go up 3-1 in the second set. Muguruza however didn't allow Pliskova the opportunity and broke back to take the set in the tie-break and enforce the decider.

In the third set, the Spaniard's momentum didn't let up as she quickly built a 4-0 lead. The course of the match once again changed from thereon. Pliskova held her serve in the fifth game and then, in the next game, broke Muguruza for the first time in the set to narrow the deficit to 4-2.

She however lost her serve again giving the fifth seed the opportunity to serve for the match. Serving for the match in the eighth game, Muguruza was broken by Pliskova. As if the tables had turned, Pliskova held her service game and yet again put Muguruza on the spot, making her serve for the match in the 10th game.

She couldn't do so and yet again the fourth seed, making her debut in the event, held her next service game to take the lead for the first time in the set, 6-5. From trying to serve out the match to trying to stay in, Muguruza cracked under pressure for the final time in the match and her agonising two-and-a-half hour outing ended as Pliskova clinched the third break in the set to win it and the match.

Pliskova had 14 aces to Muguruza's two and while the Spaniard had nine double faults, the Czech had only a third of that number. Pliskova put in 66% of her first serves and won 66% of points off those. Muguruza put in 56% first serves and 60% points off those.

Pliskova won almost half of the break point chances she had on Muguruza's serve, eight on 15 and saved four of the nine break points on her serve. Brief Scores Summary [8] Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) def. [2] Agnieszka Radwanska (POl) 7-5, 1-6, 7-5
[4] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) def.

[5] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-5 Also Read Andy Murray shares his Thoughts on the Pressure he Faced