It was a battle of Czech lefties in Singapore as fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova met countrywoman and friend, eighth-seeded Lucie Safarova. Both women were winless in round-robin play in the White Group at the WTA Finals. It was Kvitova who would pick up the win in two tight sets, 7-5, 7-5, to give herself a first win in Singapore.
Kvitova Breaks At The Perfect Time To Take The Set
It was a phenomenal display of serving brilliance by both women as neither would surrender a break point in the first 11 games. Despite the serving brilliance, there were still some phenomenal points between the players. At 2-all, 30-15, Kvitova was on the defensive after a forehand up the line by Safarova. The eight seed would then hit a cross-court forehand which was dug up by Kvitova to get her to game point.
Kvitova continued to use her groundstrokes wisely while serving at 3-all. She would take Safarova’s return and hit a backhand behind her to get her to 30-0 in the sixth game. The four seed also showed off her ability to get forward. At 4-all, Safarova’s clipped the net which forced Kvitova to the net. Her forehand forced a defensive lob from the eight seed and would finish the point with an overhead. Kvitova was nearly perfect when moving forward at that point winning ⅚ net points.
The four seed would then break her countrywoman in the 12th game after saving a few game points for Safarova who tried to force the tiebreak. On her second break point, both players were trading groundstrokes in the baseline rally before Kvitova pulled the trigger and hit a forehand winner to take the opening set 7-5.
Safarova Squanders 3-0 Lead As Kvitova Takes It
Safarova knew she needed to start the second set much better if she wanted to stay in the match. She did just that with two breaks of serve in the first three games. On her second break, she came up with a phenomenal return on her second break point at 30-40 which dropped in front of the net and forced Kvitova to hit it long. The four seed would get one break back the following game for 1-3.
With Safarova serving at 2-3, Kvitova came up with a great forehand pass at 30-all, and that would set up break point. The eight seed would hit a forehand that clipped the tape but would not fall over as she blew her double break lead, and the set was once again level at three apiece. Safarova nearly had a chance to regain her break lead with break points in the seventh game but could not convert. Kvitova then had the opportunity to go up a break herself to have a chance to serve out for the match but failed to convert her break points at 15-40.
Kvitova would seal the match on a break in the 12th game once again as Safarova would dump it into the net. The eight seed dug herself from a 0-3 role to gut it out.
Safarova, at 0-2, is in a major hole. There is only one way she can advance. Meanwhile, Kvitova has a chance to top the group or advance if things go the right way for her.
Safarova advances if:
she wins in straights, Garbiñe Muguruza wins in straight, and her win-loss percentage in games is good enough to place her second.
Kvitova tops the group if:
she wins her match in straights, Angelique Kerber wins her match in straights, and her win-loss percentage in games is good enough to put her atop the group OR
she wins in three and Kerber wins in three OR
she wins her match and Safarova wins her match, regardless of how many sets for each victory
Kvitova advances if:
she wins her match in straights, Kerber wins her match in straights, and her win-loss percentage in games is good enough to put her second in the group OR
Muguruza wins in straights, Safarova wins in straights, and her win-loss percentage in games is good enough to put her second in the group OR
Muguruza wins in three and Safarova wins in straights