Radwanska equaled Sharapova in compulsory Premieres
Final density of the calendar
It is difficult to find a tennis player who would say that his sport has too long off-season. We are always talking only about the fact that there is too little rest. Girls are still lucky in this regard, their season ends earlier. Therefore, it is better not even to hint that the calendar needs at least some space before the final tournament, because it can steal days of rest
of rest ...
But actually, of course, need to. This is especially felt at the Kremlin Cup. This is now the women's final has been postponed to Saturday, but the WTA Final Championship will start the next day. The flight is not the closest one, climate change, slightly different coverage - voluntarily none of the participants in the Final Championship wants to play in Moscow. Another thing is that sometimes you need to play to qualify.
A year ago Flavia Pennetta played her penultimate tournament in Moscow in Moscow and still withdrew and left as soon as she officially qualified to get the opportunity to adapt a little. It seemed like there was nothing to lose at the end of his career, but in order to be efficient in Singapore, it is important not to be there on the last day.
And in principle, some tennis players have to play at the end of the year almost every week. The tournament in Beijing had not yet ended, but it was already known that Garbinier Mugurusa , Madison Keys and Dominika Tsibulkova were added to Linz.
Konta intensified the struggle
Before the start of the week in Beijing, it was Keys who was a reference point for everyone in the championship race, because she was in eighth place. The American had to stop her competitors with her own hands. In our last review of Beijing, we shared how she dealt with Svetlana Kuznetsova .
Madison Keys (USA, 8) - Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic, 14) - 6: 3, 6: 7 (2: 7), 7: 6 (7: 5).
Elina Svitolina (Ukraine, 16) - Daria Gavrilova (Australia) - 7: 6 (7: 3), 6: 1.
Johanna Konta (Great Britain, 11) - Zhang Shuai (China) - 6: 4, 6: 0.
Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland, 3) - Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) - 6: 1, 6: 2.
Johanna Konta (Great Britain, 11) - Madison Keys (USA, 8) - 7: 6 (7: 1), 4: 6, 6: 4.
Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland, 3) - Elina Svitolina (Ukraine, 16) - 7: 6 (7: 3), 6: 3.
Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland, 3) - Johanna Konta (Great Britain, 11) - 6: 4, 6: 2.
In the quarterfinals she played with Petra Kvitova . The Czech made a cool move in China and won eight matches in a row. Among others, she beat Kerber , Mugurusu and Halep in this series. But even in Wuhan, Petra said that she was beginning to get tired. In the match with Keys, she was still quite combat-ready, but she played at a completely different level than at the end of the tournament in Wuhan.
Madison won the opening game. She performed better in the second set, but could not keep the advantage. Keys led three times with a break, served for the match, but Petra got to the tie-break, andthere already took the set. The irony is that the Czech woman looked better in the third game. But only now she could not realize break points in any way. In the decisive set, Kvitova did not use 10 break chances. Now Keys somehow reached a tie-break, where the game was absolutely equal, but a couple of points were in favor of the American. Madison with her own hands deprived Petra of her chances for the WTA Final Championship.
Reaching the semifinals significantly strengthened Madison's position and allowed to bypass Dominika Tsibulkov . Initially, there was even information that Kees had one victory before qualifying. Then, after Cibulkova and Mugurusa appeared in the grid of Linz, it turned out that one final would not be enough. But in any case, it was very important to win against Johanna Conte , because she was one of the last who could still aggravate the struggle in the race.
The British defeated a local tennis player in the quarterfinals Zhang Shuai . She beat her a week earlier in Wuhan, as well as in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open - 2016. In Beijing, Zhang even took the lead 4-0 at the start, but then Johanna won 12 games in a row!
At stake in the Konta match and Keys stood a lot. And it put pressure on both participants. You can add to this the burden of fatigue that has accumulated over the entire season. As a result, the match may not have turned out to be outstanding in terms of entertainment, but there was tension in it. Konta took the first set, and Keys won back in the second. In a three-set meeting, Madison looked like the favorite. The American has played excellently in three sets (17-5) this season. But this time, Johanna managed to maintain the pressure on Madison. Conta won a victory that can be called historic for British women's tennis.
For the first time in 32 years, the UK has its own top 10 tennis player! The victory over Kees allowed Johanna to enter the top 10, as well as to overtake Dominika Tsibulkova in the championship race. But there were only ten points between them, so it was still important for the Briton to find strength for the final.
Svitolina stopped the leader again
In the other half of the grid, Angelica Kerber was the favorite , but she left the tournament in the third round. The German started both sets successfully against Elina Svitolina , but then made too many inaccuracies. The Ukrainian woman made good use of these missteps. As a result, for the second time this season, she beat the first racket of the world in two sets - 6: 3, 7: 5. Earlier, at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the Ukrainian surpassed Serena Williams . In general, Elina has four victories over tennis players from the top 5 this year.
2016 - Beijing, New Haven, Shenzhen; 2015 - WTA Final Championship, Tianjin, Tokyo; 2014 - Montreal; 2013 - Seoul, Sydney, Auckland; 2012 - Brussels, Miami, Dubai; 2011 - Beijing, Tokyo, Carlsbad; 2008 - Eastbourne, Istanbul, Pattaya; 2007 - Stockholm.
In the quarterfinals Elina knocked out Darya Gavrilova , but to reach the final it was necessary to cope with Agnieszka Radwanska . Polka on itm tournament for the third time in three weeks played against Wozniacki . Karolina won in Tokyo, but in China, Radwanska won twice. The Danish woman was already decently tired, but Agnieszka was still finding strength in herself. In the quarterfinals, the Polish woman confidently beat Yaroslava Shvedova . Although it is worth noting that Yaroslava played two matches that day.
At first, Svitolina looked very good against Radwanska. She acted patiently, was not afraid of long pranks and skillfully sharpened. Agnieszka made mistakes on the left more often than usual. This led to the fact that Svitolina was leading 5: 3 and had 0:30 on the opponent's serve. But at that moment, the nature of the game changed dramatically. Radwanska managed to stop making mistakes, and Svitolina's marriage increased. Being two goals away from winning the set, she scored 12 points out of 13. Elina took her serve at 5: 6, playing the set point, but Agnieszka acted much better in the tie-break.
The decline of the Ukrainian woman continued during second set. Although she began to catch up with her rival and almost played both breaks. But the experienced Agnieszka played competently at the right moments and made it to the final of the last Premier M of the season.
Agnieszka's third mandatory Premier
In the final, the polka had a significant advantage in terms of experience. She fought for her 20th title, while Conta had only her second final in her career. And even on the court, it was noticeable how much more confident Agnieszka felt.
1. Angelica Kerber (Germany) - 7995 points - qualified for Singapore.
2. Serena Williams (USA) - 7050 - qualified.
3. Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) - 4975 - qualified.
4. Simona Halep (Romania) - 4728 - qualified.
5. Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) - 4100 - qualified.
6. Garbinier Mugurusa (Spain) - 3678.
7. Madison Keys (USA) - 3527.
8. Johanna Konta (Great Britain) - 3455.
9. Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) - 3445.
10. Carla Suarez-Navarro (Spain) - 3062.
11. Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) - 3000.
Polka quickly took the lead, making good use of her opponent's inaccuracies. Conta played out when she had already lost two breaks. At the same time, she almost bounced back, but on the second serve of her opponent on the set, Johanna twice made a very gross mistake with high balls near the net, which helped the polka win the game. In the second set, Konta's mistakes didn't decrease, so Agnieszka didn't have any problems. On the way to her 20th title, the polka did not lose a single set.
Polka became a two-time champion of the tournament in Beijing, equal to Serena and Kuznetsova. At the same time, they won this tournament only once, since it received a more prestigious status in 2009, and Radwanska won both victories already in the field of calendar reform. Agnieszka won the third Premier M in her career, the same number of titles in this category for Maria Sharapova. The leaders are Azarenka and the younger Williams, who have six titles each at competitions of this level.
Radwanska strengthened her rating in time,because very soon her points for the title in Singapore will burn out. Now the Polish woman can rest for two weeks before the WTA Final Championship. But Conte only dreams of rest. She will play in Hong Kong, and her rivals in the race - Tsibulkova, Mugurus and Keys will perform in Linz. In theory, Svetlana Kuznetsova has not yet lost her chances, but it is important for her to win the tournament in Tianjin.