The WTA World Tour Finals held the final rounds of group play on Thursday in Singapore. A pivotal matchup in the Red Group took place. Fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska went up against top seed and world number two Simona Halep.
The two were playing for a bid to reach the knockout semifinal round (top two spots out of four qualify from both groups). Both players came in to the head-to-head matchup deadlocked at four apiece. With the world number one Serena Wiliams not participating in the tournament, Halep took the spot as the favorite and top seed coming in.
Radwanska would not cave in, staving off eight of nine break points faced to clinch the second place spot with a 7-6(5), 6-1 victory over the Romanian. In the post match interview a happy Radwanska stated, "That tie-break was something else and I just managed to make some great points at important moments. It's very nice to hear people say my tennis is entertaining so I hope I can keep hearing people say that over and over again".
With the loss, Halep was knocked out as she fell into the third spot of the red group, losing by a tiebreak with the 5th seed over sets won. Maria Sharapova took the first place spot in the group.
Radwanska Edges Halep In First Set
As the match started, the Romanian number one took advantage as she gained a positive 3-1 lead. The match then took a turn in the favor of the 5th seed. The 26-year-old came back to keep the set competitive. She would break back to get the match even at three apiece. Both players would hold as the set only saw a total of two breaks, one break a piece for the Pole and Romanian. The 26 year old Pole saved eight of nine break points to keep the one seed in check. Ultimately, the first set reached a tiebreak. Halep gained the upper hand by going up 5-1, two points away from the set. However, in a turn of events, Radwanska had enough of the Romanian's good play, as she reeled off 6 straight points to take the set 7-5 in the tiebreak.
Demoralized Halep Bows Out Of WTA Finals
As the second set got underway, Halep's demoralized attitude kept her from bouncing back. She saved a break point in the opening game and eventually held to go up 1-0. The fifth seed answered right back with a hold of serve. Things took a bad turn for the world number two as she only won one point in her next three service games. The Pole did not face a break point the whole set as she took 3 breaks of serve in the process. The match reared to a halt as Radwanska cruised to take the 2nd set in 30 minutes for a 6-1 victory.
The impressive victory was wrapped up in an hour and 44 minutes. With the win, Radwanska notched her 500th victory of her career. In addition, she moves on to the semifinal round to play the 1st placed player of the White Group.