Two former champions will hope to make a statement as the WTA Finals 2018 kicks off at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sunday, October 21. Petra Kvitova, who won this elite event seven years ago in 2011, is the one first up against Elina Svitolina as the quest to be crowned the season’s best begins with White Group action.
Later in the day, the 2017 winner Caroline Wozniacki returns to the scene of her biggest triumph until this year’s Australian Open as she takes on Karolina Pliskova in a rematch of last year’s semi-final.
It’s difficult to look past these two veterans in Sunday’s schedule, given their prowess and previous experience in battling the crème de la crème of WTA en route to the title. Both even have a winning record against their respective opponents.
Kvitova’s mastery over Svitolina should make her the heavy favourite in Sunday’s first match. The Czech southpaw has a staggering 7-1 head-to-head record against the Ukrainian. Besides her gruelling win over Victoria Azarenka in the 2011 summit clash, Kvitova made it to the final once more four years later, when she finished on the losing side in yet another three-set thriller to Agnieszka Radwanska.
This has been a highly consistent year for the two-time Wimbledon champion, having secured as many as five titles, that include a Premier Mandatory win in Madrid as well. However, her performances have waned in the fall and that should give her the urge to set things right at a place where she has dominated in the past.
Knowing her ease on indoor courts, Kvitova would attempt to make a good start and end her memorable season on a high.
Wozniacki’s title glory at Beijing could not have come at a better time. The Dane had not been able to do a lot since her maiden Slam triumph in Melbourne. The only performance of note from her was at the grasscourt tournament in Eastbourne, where she prevailed over the likes of Angelique Kerber and Aryna Sabalenka to take home the trophy.
The former World No. 1 had really been struggling for consistency until she struck the right chord at Beijing. That remains her last tournament before heading to Singapore and it should give her enough impetus to keep the run going against Pliskova whom she leads 6-3 in their head-to-head meetings.
However, Wozniacki cannot afford to be complacent against the Czech. Pliskova herself has been racking up wins in the fall, taking the title in Tokyo and reaching the final in Tianjin. At the Japanese capital, she even beat the US Open champion Naomi Osaka in the final. Pliskova’s push at the last moment enabled her to get a place in the final eight, and she would very much like to make the most of this opportunity.
The slower court conditions should favour Wozniacki, who also has the winning record against Pliskova, but the latter can definitely make this a thrilling affair.
Here is the schedule for October 21, 2018:
Petra Kvitova vs Elina Svitolina at 5 pm local time or 2.30 pm IST
Caroline Wozniacki vs Karolina Pliskova not before 7.30 pm local time or 5 pm IST
Here is all you need to know about how to follow the WTA Finals 2018:
Tournament name: BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore
Category: Year-ending championships
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Round: Round robin
Broadcast: No live telecast in India
Live score: wtafinals.com
You can follow all the coverage of the WTA Finals 2018 here on SportskeedaPublished 21 Oct 2018, 12:45 IST