The back-from-injury pair of Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep were winners, and US Open champ Flavia Pennetta and Aggie Radwanska losers on day one of the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Halep, who trounced world No. 1 Serena Williams in the round robin portion last year at the season-ending champions, resumed form on Sunday in Singapore, handing the US Open champion Pennetta a 6-0, 6-3 strumming.
It was sweet revenge for Halep after falling to the Italian in the semifinals at the US Open last month.
“I started the match really well,” said Halep, who had lost four of her last five meetings with Pennetta entering the match. “I played my best in the first set, fast, smart and aggressive. I was really enjoying the match today. I was really happy to be back here.”
Pennetta said she doomed by a slow start and passive mindset.
“Maybe I didn’t have too much energy — I didn’t push a lot like I always do, I was waiting too much,” she said. “But in the second set was much better. I was trying to find something more, trying to be more aggressive. Of course I would love to have played a little bit better, but I still have my chance [to make the semifinals].”
For Halep it was her first match since retiring first round in Beijing two weeks ago.
“I was injured a little bit in China, my Achilles, but now I’m feeling good,” Halep said. “I had treatment and a break before coming here, and now I’m playing without pain, so that’s good. I’m just hoping to be okay during the matches, though, because I didn’t play official matches until now.”
Sharapova shook off the rust to outlast Radwanska 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 for her first match win since Wimbledon, sitting out the majority of the latter half of the year with a right forearm injury.
At 5-2 on serve in the third the Russian failed to close out the match, but made good serving at 5-4 to notch a 1-0 record in round robin play.
“This is my first completed match since July, so it’s a pretty big deal for me,” Sharapova said. “Coming into this event I did everything I could to be healthy. I just didn’t quite know how my results would go. Even though I didn’t play my best tennis today I still got through, and that’s what matters, especially against such a tough competitor like Radwanska. We always have such close matches here.”
Monday play will see (2) Garbine Muguruza vs. (8) Lucie Safarova, and (4) Petra Kvitova vs. (6) Angie Kerber.
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