Top seed Serena Williams will have revenge on her mind as she takes on Simona Halep in the WTA Finals championship match on Sunday in Singapore.
Serena qualified into the semifinals thanks to Halep’s (ill-advised?) set win against Ana Ivanovic on Sunday, and now the World No. 1 bids for a third straight WTA Finals title, fifth overall after beating good friend Caroline Wozniacki today in the semifinals 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(6).
“It was crazy,” Williams said of Friday’s harrowing qualification. “I don’t want to do that no more. I’m going to have to ‑ if I qualify next year, I’m winning my matches. I don’t like my fate to be in someone else’s hands.
“Halep was up 5‑1 and I thought, ‘Well, maybe I’ll qualify.’ Then she lost and I called my assistant and said, ‘We might need to book a flight’,” Serena added. “And then next thing I know she was up in the second and then it was even. I thought, ‘This is too much. Next year I’m going to play my matches, win the three, and go from there’. That’s what Caroline did. No stress for her. It’s too stressful for me. That was like a drama on Netflix, and I don’t like or watch dramas.”
As for the match, Wozniacki served for it in the third at 5-4 and led 4-1 in the breaker but was denied both times.
“Sometimes when you have a match point your heart rate goes up,” Williams said. “It’s like you’re watching that drama. So, you know, you have to take a deep breath and then really calm yourself down. I’m always able to calm down. That doesn’t happen all the time. Usually I get nervous before the match.
“But sometimes you just – like today, my first match point my heart rate was beating and I calmed down and I thought I played a really good match point. She just played an even better point.”
Halep then blew out Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-2 setting up the rematch with Serena.
“The secret was like I cannot explain, because I just played ‑‑ I had a plan in my head just to move her a lot and just to open the court, to open the angles,” Halep said of her win Wednesday over Serena. “I moved very well on court, and just I wanted to be aggressive. My serve went very well in that match.”
“She has experience. She knows how I play, how I played few days ago,” Halep said. “She’s older than me and she knows how to manage this final tomorrow. For me it’s my first time. But still, I believe that I have a chance.”
Halep, though, dished out a 6-0, 6-2 beating to Serena. So Serena has goals.
“My goal is to win three games,” Said Serena who leads Halep 3-1. “That’ll be my first goal and I’m going to go from there. Hopefully I can hold serve. That would be good. Most of all, I hope to break once. So I’m starting with low goals.”
Serena is seeking her 64th career WTA title, 7th of 2014. Halep is bidding for her biggest career win, 9th overall. The 23-year-old Halep’s win over Serena on Wednesday was her first ever over a Top 3 ranked player.
Serena has already clinched the No. 1 ranking. Halep will finish No. 3.
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