WTA Singapore: Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Agnieszka Radwanska

The Russian only got to Singapore 24 hours ago, but produced a fine display to defeat the defending champion in a thriller.

WTA Singapore: Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Agnieszka Radwanska
WTA Singapore: Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Agnieszka Radwanska
Svetlana Kuznetsova
2 1
Agnieszka Radwanska

Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska for the 13th time in 17 matches, this one giving her an opening round-robin win at the WTA Finals.

Radwanska blows huge early lead to hand Kuznetsova opening set

After only arriving for the finals a day after qualifying in Moscow, Kuznetsova was understandably sluggish early on and Radwanska capitalized, breaking to 15 to open up a 3-1 lead. After a hold to love extended her lead to 4-1, it all appeared to be going the defending champion's way, but Kuznetsova clawed her way back into the set, breaking in the seventh game to 30 to get the set back on serve. She broke again in the eleventh game for a 6-5 lead and was able to serve it out only after saving a break point at 30-40 and needing three set points.

Svetlana Kuznetsova serves to Agnieszka Radwanska during their round robin match in Singapore/Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Svetlana Kuznetsova serves to Agnieszka Radwanska during their round robin match in Singapore/Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Radwanska wins second set in a rout to level the match

As with the first set, Radwanska jumped out to an early lead, this time 2-0, breaking Kuznetsova immediately. Despite being broken back, the Pole wouldn't lose another game in the set, breaching the Russian's serve again for a 5-1 lead. She served out the set after needing four set points and the match was headed to a decisive third set.

Agnieszka Radwanska hits a forehand to Svetlana Kuznetsova during their round-robin match/Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Agnieszka Radwanska hits a forehand to Svetlana Kuznetsova during their round-robin match/Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Kuznetsova saves match point en route to come-from-behind victory

It appeared Radwanska's momentum would continue into the third set as she broke Kuznetsova followed by a 16-point game resulting in a hold, the defending champion saving two match points. Twice in the remainder of the set breaks were exchanged and the result was a 5-4 lead for Radwanska. In the tenth game as she served for the match, Kuznetsova saved a match point and levelled the set with a break on her second chance. A quick love hold put the pressure back on the Pole and after saving two match points, she was unable to save a third as Kuznetsova rallied for a crucial win, winning the last three games to put herself in optimal position heading into the remaining group stage matches.

Svetlana Kuznetsova and Agnieszka Radwanska shake hands following the Russian's dramatic three set victory/Photo: Cliver Brunskill/Getty Images
Svetlana Kuznetsova and Agnieszka Radwanska shake hands following the Russian's dramatic three set victory/Photo: Cliver Brunskill/Getty Images