When will she run out of gas?
Former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who last week needed to win the Moscow title to even qualify for the WTA Finals, on Wednesday defeated US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(6) to finish off a perfect 3-0 record in round robin play and book a spot in the semifinals.
“After my journey here, and all the support of the fans and my team, I couldn’t let everybody down,” Kuznetsova said on court after the match. “It’s from my heart. I have not been at my best these past years, but something just changed this year. I enjoy my game, I enjoy the crowd, I’m playing against the best players in the world and I really appreciate and am blessed to be here today.”
In the third set Kuzy led 5-3, but soon found herself down 5-6 with Pliskova serving. The Russian broke, and then in the tiebreak blew three match points before at 6-6 winning two straight to seal the victory.
It is the first time in six WTA Finals qualifications that the 31-year-old Kuznetsova advances past the round robin stage.
In the other match on the day, defending champ and No. 2 seed Aggie Radwanska topped No. 5 Garbine Muguruza 7-6(1), 6-3.
Muguruza hung around in the first set but eventually crumbled under the weight of one too many balls coming back. Radwanska made only 12 unforced errors over two sets.
“There were a lot of ups and downs, obviously, and I think there were a lot of breaks as well so it was an open [first] set,” Radwanska said on court after the match. “I’m just happy that I could play a good tiebreak — that helped a lot — and win in two sets. I’ve got great memories from last year, I was really feeling good on court.”
On Friday she will play Pliskova, with the winner of that match advancing into the semifinals.
On court Thursday in Singapore will be (3) Simona Halep vs. (7) Dominika Cibulkova, and (1) Angelique Kerber vs. (6) Madison Keys.
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