Angelique Kerber finished her round robin by knocking Madison Keys out of the WTA Finals following a 6-3, 6-3 win over the American.
“I knew that I’m already in the semis, but still I’m always going out there to win the match,” Kerber said. “I think I learned so much from the last match what I lost here against Safarova one year ago. I think today it was easier, but I was trying to not thinking about this, that I’m already in the semis.
“I was trying to going out there and playing the match, because I know that Madison was in the same situation I was in last year.”
With the win, Keys is eliminated from the event while Kerber wins the Red Group losing just one set.
“I let nerves get the best of me, and I think that happens to everyone,” Keys said. “Just something that I need to work on. It’s not a bad thing. It happens to a lot of people. People figure it out. Obviously I’m not the best at it at 21. Hopefully there are a couple more years to figure that out.”
Dominika Cibulkova grabbed the second spot after stunning Simona Halep 6-3, 7-6(5).
“This win is really, really big for me,” Cibulkova said. “Really big for me. I feel relieved. I’m really, really happy about my win, about the way I played and the way I handled the situation and the pressure.
“It seems like I’m playing my best tennis under biggest pressure. You know, it’s just a great feeling, you know, to beat Simona in two sets – knowing that if I want to go further in the tournament, I have to beat her in two sets. That made me even stronger in the second set.”
Cibulkova will face Svetlana Kuznetsova on Saturday in the semifinals. Kuznetosva, who takes on Garbine Muguruza Friday in a meaningless match, has won six straight and nine of her last 10.
In the showcase match Friday, Karolina Pliskova and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska clash for the final semifinal berth and a chance to take on Kerber. Radwanska has never lost a set in six matches against Pliskova.
“We played so many matches a long time ago,” Radwanska said. “And our last matches were really, really tight. I think it’s going to be a good challenge for me on Friday. She had a great season, playing very solid tennis, so we’ll see how it’s going to be.”
SATURDAY SINGAPORE SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS
Angelique Kerber v Karolina Pliskova/Agnieszka Radwanksa
Svetlana Kuznetsova v Dominika Cibulkova
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