Following an entertaining and surprising round robin stage in Singapore, the semi-final stage of the WTA Finals has been scheduled, with the first meeting taking place between two close friends on the tour – Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki. This marks the 11th time that these two competitors will meet on the tour, and the fourth time this season. Williams leads the head-to-head series 9-1, including wins in the last six consecutive meetings.
Following her staggering loss to Simona Halep on Wednesday, Williams rebounded with a scintillating performance against an uninspired Eugenie Bouchard to defeat the Canadian 6-1, 6-1. Her victory, and Sharapova’s exit from the tournament, means that Williams will finish the year as world No. 1 for the fourth time in her career.
“Yesterday was tough for me but I had to put it behind me,” Williams said. “My coach really helped me out and to focus on today, telling me that I’m still in the tournament, even though I felt like I was out of it after such a tough loss.”
Caroline Wozniacki secured the top spot in the White Group on Friday afternoon when she defeated reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Her win – and Sharapova’s inability to close out her match in straight sets – means that she will be joined by Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-final stage of the year-end championships.
“I played really well today,” Wozniacki said in her post-match interview. “I served well, returned well and I really tried to be aggressive when I had the chance. “I’ve been working extremely hard this year and its paying off now. It feels great to be back here – the crowd has been incredible this week and I really want to thank you all.”
Although she has had a magnificent week in Singapore so far, Wozniacki will be faced with the momentous task of toppling her friend and top seed Serena Williams to reach the finals of the event. Williams holds a stranglehold over the series, including a 9-1 record with six straight wins.
“Well, my matchup against (Serena) hasn’t been that great,” Wozniacki said. “I won once and lost like 10 times or nine. I don’t know. I don’t even count anymore. But it’s a new tournament. It’s new week and I’ve been playing well, really. Again, I believe if I play like I did today, doesn’t matter who’s on the other side, I can win.”
Prediction: Serena Williams in Three Sets