A regular contest for the WTA finals is that between Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska. Although the two players have met five times on the WTA tour, with Kvitova leading the overall head to head series 4-1, this will mark their third meeting at the round robin stage of the year-end championships.
After kick starting that rivalry in Istanbul, and having split their two meetings at the championships, this will mark the unofficial rubber match to determine who holds the edge at the prestigious WTA Finals.
After a surprising exit in the third round of the US Open, Kvitova embarked on a remarkable run in Asia – one that included a title win and a runner-up finish the following week. Kvitova, who won her second Wimbledon crown this season with a straight sets victory over Eugenie Bouchard, worked her way through the Wuhan draw to set up a rematch with the young Canadian. She would earn the victory and lift the title – her third of the season – and edge closer to completing a remarkable year on the tour. She would extend her winning streak with a strong week in Beijing and would not lose until she faced Maria Sharapova in the final of the event. She compiled a 9-1 record post-US Open and a 40-14 record overall this season.
Unlike her upcoming opponent, Radwanska has had a rough couple of months dating back to the US Open, where she lost in the second round to Shuai Peng. From there, she compiled a 3-3 record on the tour, including losses in the first round in Wuhan and the second round in Beijing.
While Radwanska’s has not had the greatest of season in 2014, she is proud of her consistency when reaching the year-end finals. Considering she is once again one of the Top eight competitors on the tour, she grades her overall performance this season “not too bad.”
“I think it was pretty good season. I’m here, so that means another good season. Of course, I think Grand Slam was not that great as I wanted to be. I think maybe those ones are the tournaments for sure I want to improve the results. Otherwise, not too bad.
“I think making Champs now almost every year is really great for me. The moment I realize that I’m in, it makes me feel so happy that I top eight another year and playing the Championships. So I’m really excited for that tournament every year. Of course about the consistency as well, that I can do every year pretty similar results and being in the top eight.”
Based simply on their respective trajectories this season, it is easy to consider Kvitova the favourite this season. Factor in that Radwanska has only ever beaten the Czech native once in five encounters – WTA Finals in 2012 – the odds certainly stack up against the Polish competitor.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova in Three Sets