Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic bounced back from her disappointing loss to Agnieszka Radwanska in her opening match in Singapore by beating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday. The win snapped a five-match losing streak to Sharapova and puts a dent in the Russian’s hopes of reaching the semis.
That result did not look so clear early on as Sharapova jumped out to an early lead. A hold in the opening game followed by a break on a Kvitova double-fault gave the second-ranked player in the world a 2-0 lead.
From there, however, the match was all Kvitova. She rattled off 12 of the next 15 games to cruise past Sharapova in straight sets and improve to 1-1 at the WTA Finals.
The victory was a sigh of relief for the Czech after looking sluggish in her opener versus Radwanska.
“After the first loss here, I didn’t really feel well and I’m just glad to win my second match and still have a chance of being in the semifinals,” said Kvitova, who won Wimbledon this past summer. “I think when we played the final in Beijing I found the confidence to play against her again. Unfortunately I lost over there but I knew that I had the game to beat her and today was the time to do that.”
Kvitova’s power game has always been one that benefitted from playing indoors, away from the outside elements.
“I love to play indoors—it’s pretty fast, no sun, no wind. It suits my game,” said Kvitova. “I’m glad that I won today and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
As for Sharapova, the loss hurts her chances of reaching the semifinals and finishing the year at number one. She had a chance to finish the year at the top of the rankings if she could win in Singapore, and current world number one Serena Williams failed to reach the final.
“I didn’t feel as sharp as I did in the previous matches against her,” said Sharapova of her play on Thursday. “I just don’t feel that I reacted as well in her bigger shots. She’s someone that likes to play aggressive and hit the ball, and very deep as well. She countered my shots extremely well and I was just never ready for the next ball.”
Sharapova now must defeat her next opponent Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets and have Caroline Wozniacki beat Kvitova in straight sets for the Russian to have a shot at making the final four in Singapore.
Wozniacki defeated Agnieska Radwanska 7-5, 6-3 earlier in the day to move to 2-0 in the White Group as she inches closer to the semifinals.