In the second of the group previews for the WTA Elite Trophy, we take a look at Group B. Group B consists of Carla Suarez Navarro, Elina Svitolina, and Andrea Petkovic. Suarez Navarro is the “top seed” in the group.
Suarez Navarro, a Spaniard, is unique compared to pretty much the whole women’s tour. How? She possesses a one-handed backhand. Not many women possess a one-handed backhand which makes that shot even more dangerous. Many people compare her to a “poor woman’s Justine Henin”. She offers the same variety of shots that the Belgian did but cannot produce them as well.
Svitolina is a an aggressive counterpuncher. A fantastic ATP comparison for her would be David Ferrer. Neither player has one go-to shot but possess amazing speed and can punish you with consistency.
Petkovic likely has the best groundstrokes of all the women in this group with a deadly backhand and a lethal forehand. The German is not the most athletic of the three women, but she makes up for it with hours of hard yards. Despite her tremendous strokes, she can sometime be “off” mentally and can absolutely go off the rails in a match.
Highlights For Each Player
Suarez Navarro’s first final of the season came in Antwerp. Oddly enough, she’d was forced into a walkover to give her group mate, Petkovic the title. She would go on to reach the finals of Indian Wells and Rome, losing to Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova respectively. She was also the second alternate for the singles portion of the WTA Finals and was runner-up in doubles, pairing with countrywoman Garbine Muguruza.
Semifinal showings in Brisbane and Bogota were the Ukrainian’s best results, until she won a clay title in Marrakech. She went on to reach her first ever Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open. Svitolina continued her run as she moved into the hard courts. A semifinal run at the Western & Southern Open was her last big result.
As it was mentioned earlier, Petkovic won the title in Antwerp after Suarez Navarro was forced to give the match in a walkover due to injury, Other than that however, the German has made a couple of solid semifinals in Miami and Charleston.
In Group A, Keys and Venus were the clear-cut favorites. Now in this group, it is wide open. All three women had to claw their way into this event after getting knocked out of Singapore and an average Asian swing at best. However with match play under belt unlike the last week, Suarez Navarro has to be seen as one who gets out of the group as that match play has her mentally match ready from the get-go.
Group Winner: Carla Suarez Navarro