WTA Finals: Agnieszka Radwanska eliminates Garbiñe Muguruza from Singapore

The Pole will battle Karolina Pliskova for the final semifinal spot in the White Group after downing the Spaniard.

WTA Finals: Agnieszka Radwanska eliminates Garbiñe Muguruza from Singapore
Radwanska celebrates winning a point at the WTA Finals (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Both Garbiñe Muguruza and Agnieszka Radwanska headed into their second round-robin match of the White Group down 0-1 but knew they both could have easily had one win. Both women squandered match point opportunities in their respective losses to Karolina Pliskova and Svetlana Kuznetsova. In the end though, it was the defending champion at the WTA Finals, Radwanska, who would take the match and gave herself a shot to qualify for the semifinals with a 7-6(1), 6-3 win over the French Open champion.

Tight First Set Goes To Radwanska

Both women started strong holding their serves before the Pole struck first in the fourth game. At 30-40, she pounced on the opportunity to break to hold a 3-1 lead. However, it was the Spaniard who dictated the tempo of the rallies in the next game.

At 15-30, the Spaniard turned defense into offense after a lob neutralized the rally to get it back to square one. Another deep shot the feet of the Pole put Muguruza ready for attack. A cross-court backhand opened up the court and put the defending champion in Singapore on the defensive and Muguruza would finish off the smash off into the open court for a 15-40 lead which would then turn into a break back for 2-3.

After getting broken to go down 2-4, Muguruza turned the tides of the set, reeling off three straight games, including two breaks, to have an opportunity to serve out the set up 5-4. The crafty Radwanska would not give in however as a wonderful point at 0-15 down 4-5 gave her the opening she needed to try and get the break back.

After trading groundstrokes, the Pole pulled the drop shot rabbit out of her hat which drew the Spaniard into the net and finished it off with a lob winner. She would go on to break as the long duel went on for the Spaniard to hold at 5-6 down to force a tiebreak. She saved one set point to force it, but it was one-way traffic as Radwanska shut the Spaniard down, reeling off six straight games, to take the set 7-6(1) capped off by a backhand winner which clipped the line.

Muguruza ready to take an overhead (Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Muguruza ready to take an overhead (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Radwanska Strikes From Behind To Take It In Straights

The Pole struggled to ride the wave of momentum that helped her capture that tight opening set. After saving one break point in her opening service game, she broke quickly in the second to go up 2-0 before giving it right back at 1-2. Both women held their ground until the seventh game when Radwanska broke the set open.

A bullet backhand down the line put the Pole in a huge spot at 30-all after going down 30-15. A Muguruza backhand down the line put Radwanska on the defensive and forced her to play a short ball, but it was a wild volley from the Spaniard who hit it well wide to give the Pole a 4-3 lead.

After holding at love for 5-3, Radwanska finished the match off in fine style, only needing one match point to take the match. At 15-40, a short return from the world number three once again drew Muguruza into the net. The Spanish number one took the short return and tried to pin Radwanska into the corner, but it was to no avail as the Pole smacked a backhand winner down the line to take the match.

Radwanska and Muguruza shake hands after their match (Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Radwanska and Muguruza shake hands after their match (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

What’s Next

Radwanska and Pliskova meet to see which player will take the final spot in the group. Kuznetsova is already through after going 2-0. Muguruza plays Kuznetsova in what is going to be a consolation match for the Spaniard and Russian as the Russian the top seed from the White Group, having defeated both Radwanska and Pliskova already.