Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova are through to the WTA Finals knock-out stage, with Kvitova having to thank Czech compatriot Lucie Safarova for defeating Angelique Kerber to leave Kvitova in second spot in their qualifying group
Muguruza and Kvitova through at WTA Finals despite Kvitova defeat
SHOWS: SINGAPORE (OCTOBER 30, 2015) (WTA TOUR-IEC – SEE RESTRICTIONS)
PETRA KVITOVA (PURPLE) V GARBINE MUGURUZA (BLUE)
1. GARBINE MUGURUZA WALKING OUT ONTO THE COURT
2. PLAYERS, UMPIRE AND SPECTATOR AT THE COIN-TOSS
3. GARBINE MUGURUZA WINS RALLY AT 2-2 IN THE FIRST SET WITH FOREHAND VOLLEY TO GO TO BREAK POINT – SHE WENT ON TO BREAK SERVE TO LEAD 3-2
4. PETRA KVITOVA WINS RALLY IN THE SECOND SET WITH CROSSCOURT FOREHAND TO LEAD 5-4
5. GARBINE MUGURUZA TRAILING 2-4 IN THE FINAL SET HITS WINNING FOREHAND DOWN THE LINE
6. PETRA KVITOVA HITS INTO THE NET TO DROP HER SERVE AND TRAIL 5-6
7. GARBINE MUGURUZA WINS MATCH WITH BACKHAND VOLLEY, PLAYERS SHAKE HANDS, GARBINE MUGURUZA WAVES TO THE CROWD
ANGELIQUE KERBER (RED) V LUCIE SAFAROVA (WHITE/PURPLE)
8. LUCIE SAFAROVA WINS RALLY WITH FOREHAND LEADING 4-3 IN THE FIRST SET
9. LUCIE SAFAROVA WINS RALLY WITH DROP SHOT TO GO TO MATCH POINT
10. LUCIE SAFAROVA WINS THE MATCH WHEN ANGELIQUE KERBER HITS THE BALL WIDE, PLAYERS SHAKE HANDS, LUCIE SAFAROVA BLOWS KISSES TO THE CROWD
STORY: Garbine Muguruza continued her dream debut at the WTA Finals by completing round robin play with a perfect 3-0 record to advance to the semi-finals after a hard fought 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory over Petra Kvitova in Singapore on Friday (October 30).
By topping the White Group, the Spaniard set up a showdown against Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska while Kvitova (1-2) received a huge boost from her Czech Fed Cup team mate Lucie Safarova (1-2), who beat Angelique Kerber to help her advance.
Germany’s Kerber (1-2) only needed to win a set in Friday’s second match to move on but the already-eliminated Safarova (1-2) found her best form of the week to blast the German off the court and out of the eight-woman event with a 6-4 6-3 win.
Kerber’s loss was Kvitova’s gain and the double Wimbledon champion claimed second place in the group courtesy of sets won to book a last four berth against Red Group winner Maria Sharapova.
While her rivals were left scratching their heads and fretting over the various permutations, Muguruza was spared the agony of relying on others by claiming a third straight triumph.
The Spanish right-hander had grown accustomed to facing left-handers in a group containing a trio of southpaws and the recent China Open winner edged ahead in the middle of a tense first set then raced through the eighth game to move 5-3 up.
Kvitova sent down back-to-back aces to ensure Muguruza would need to serve for the set and the world number three duly obliged to claim the set she needed to ensure she would at least advance from the pool as a top-two finisher.
The second set turned into a war of attrition as both players coughed up point after point on their fragile second serves to exchange six breaks in the first seven games before Muguruza ended the sequence to hold in the eighth.
Both players continued to struggle on serve as the pair racked up a match total of 15 combined breaks between them, the last arriving in the 11th game of the deciding set when Muguruza moved 6-5 ahead on Kvitova’s backhand error.
Despite finally gaining an advantage, Muguruza needed to dig deep to prevent the contest from going to a third set tiebreak, maintaining her composure to seal the contest on her fourth match point with a backhand volley.
The second match followed a similar pattern to the first as both players struggled in an early exchange that saw Safarova edge ahead by getting the better of three consecutive breaks and she rode the advantage all the way to a one-set lead.
Safarova’s serve improved in the second set and she was able to apply pressure on a visibly frustrated Kerber, who was having more success bashing her racket against the ground than she was making clean contact with the ball.
The Czech never looked threatened in the second, breaking early and again the ninth game to seal victory on her fourth match point when Kerber sent a forehand into the tramlines as both players bowed out of the tournament.