Group D, the only group that did not play on day one of the WTA Elite Trophy, kicked off play on Wednesday. Italian Roberta Vinci faced off against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. The Italian only needed to break serve twice, both times at love, to take each set and the match 6-4, 6-4. A straight sets win for the Italian gives her a fantastic shot to advance, even if she should lose her second match in the group.
Only One Break Point In The Whole Set Enough For Vinci To Break And Take Set
Both players didn’t have much work to do in their opening service games as they were pretty straightforward. Kuznetsova’s second game went a little bit on the tense side as she blew a 40-15 lead to get back to deuce but only one was needed before she held. Vinci took her chance in the fifth game and broke at love to lead 3-2.
The Italian consolidated the break to lead 4-2. The Russian nearly faced another break point in the sixth game as it went to deuce, but she survived with minimal damage. Throughout the match, this year’s US Open finalist deployed her backhand slice and wide serve often throughout the set. At points, it seemed like that all Vinci was hitting was slice backhands. She clinched the opening set 6-4 on her first set point at 15 in the tenth game.
Another Break At Love Costs The Russian The Match
Similarly to the opening set, Kuznetsova was broken at love. She nearly struck right back though after holding three break points, but the Italian fought back to extend the lead to 2-0. Whenever Vinci had forehands to hit, she punished Kuznetsova. The Italian was hitting her forehand deep, forcing the two-time major champion to play defensive. If she wasn’t forcing Kuznetsova to play defense, she was hitting clean winners that painted the lines, leaving the Russian hopeless in most cases.
There wasn’t much drama when either woman was serving until the seventh game with the Russian serving. She fell behind 0-40, and it looked all over from there as the break for Vinci looked inevitable. On the fourth break point, the Italian continued firing backhand slices and had the Russian right where she wanted after she mixed it up and went with a slice down the line. Kuznetsova managed to win the point though with a forehand flick right past the Italian who was at the net. She held but was still down 3-4.
The Italian needed only one match point to take it the match 6-4, 6-4, as she closed out the proceedings with a forehand winner. Both players still have one match remaining on the round-robin portion. Both women have to face Caroline Wozniacki.