Saturday, October 31, 2015

WTA TOUR FINALS 2015: Kvitova and Radwanska Reach Improbable Final

Much to my surprise, the two winners of the semifinals of the WTA Tour Finals in Singapore were not the two players in 3 round-robin matches, Maria Sharapova and Garbiñe Muguruza  but their 1-2 opponents, Petra Kvitova and Aggie Radwanska! These were quite surprising results, because Radwanska outlasted her opponent in a 2.5 hour marathon, getting her first win in 6 matches she played against Muguruza this year. In the other match, P3tra did not live up to her name, coming back from 1-5 down in the second set (after winning the first one) to force a tiebreaker, which she won, overcoming a 3-6 head-to-head deficit with the 4-time major champion. Muguruza apparently just ran out of gas against Radwanska, but, then amazingly was able to get to the Doubles final with her partner Carla Suarez Navarro. It's incredible that the 20-year-old was able to qualify in both singles and doubles (so did Lucie Safarova) but that she made the semifinals in both is quite a feat.
That being said, the Spaniards have almost no chance in winning the title against the best doubles team in the world, Martina Hingis  and Sania Mirza.

Kvitova won this title along with her first major in 2011 while Radwanska has never won one of the five biggest titles in tennis. Kvitova has a significant 6-2 head-to-head advantage over Radwanska, but those two losses have both come at this tournament, the last one coming last year on the very same court!

I like both players so I will be happy with whatever the result is. I do think that the "better" player is Kvitova, and that she deserves the title more, but my game and my heart are leaning towards Radwanska, because I would like to see her perhaps repeat Amelie Mauresmo's history and become the second player to win the WTA year-ending championship without having won a slam and then go on to win a slam the very next year.

It's not that often that I miss calling the results of both semifinals in a big tournament (although the 2015 U.S. Open is a painful recent reminder that it can and does happen!) but that doesnt stop me from making a prediction in the final.

MadProfessah's pick: Kvitova.

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