Petra Kvitova's struggles at the WTA Finals continue as her losing streak at the prestigious tournament was unfortunately extended to seven matches as she ended her year being winless at the year-end championships for the second year in running.
World number one Ashleigh Barty consolidated her advantage at the top with a terrific 6-4, 6-2 win over the hard-hitting Czech, remaining unbroken throughout the match as she successfully booked her spot in the semifinals on her tournament debut. The Australian will either face Pliskova or Halep in the last four.
Barty blasted 23 winners to just 18 unforced errors in the match and was playing a much solid gameplan as compared to Kvitova, who played a high-risk game which had backfired throughout the entire week. Despite finding 21 winners, the Czech also committed 31 unforced errors which contributed largely to her downfall.
Barty seals the straightforward win
Kvitova showed her intentions straight from the first point, and it was a rather promising start for the sixth seed as she dominated the net to claim a confident service hold in the opening game. Looking to be aggressive and take control of the match, the Czech was often undone by her errors which ultimately allowed Barty to find a way to have the upper hand.
Some clutch serving were needed from Kvitova to save two break points in the third game, but Barty was the one who still managed to draw the first blood and find the first breakthrough, exposing Kvitova’s vulnerable net game to take the lead. The 2011 champion initially had the golden opportunity to return level but failed to convert her chances as Barty survived three break points.
Errors flooded Kvitova’s game while Barty produced some clean tennis as the match progressed, saving another break chance in the eighth game and gaining the momentum in the process. With Kvitova surprisingly not calling for her coach throughout the entire match, Barty successfully served out the opening frame 6-4 with ease.
It was a one-sided start in the second set as Barty surged to claim four games on the trot, prevailing in three deuce games before retrieving from a 0-30 deficit to consolidate her advantage. The Australian was clinical on her serve and refused to let loose, putting herself closer to claiming her third consecutive win over Kvitova.
Although Kvitova was able to get onto the scoreboard, she was unable to prevent the inevitable as her shots often sailed long, and her Shenzhen campaign ended in another disappointment as she was defeated 4-6, 2-6 after just an hour and 28 minutes of action.