Radwanska Seals Singapore Spot; Kerber Denied
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
The talk of the week in the weird and wonderful world of the WTA was who would join Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova on the plane to Singapore.
Amongst the contenders this week were Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber, Lucie Safarova, Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams — all looking to seal their spot amongst the top eight.
In Hong Kong, Kerber came close but was ultimately edged by Jelena Jankovic. The former world number one had ended Venus’ slight hopes of making the season ending championships in the semi-finals, and looked to do the same to Kerber who looked exceptional against Stosur.
The German was in control for most of the first two sets, taking the opener 6-3 and coming within a game away of winning and sealing her place in Singapore. But Jankovic held on to take the tiebreak as Kerber started to fade.
The Serb was dominant in the final set, not facing a break point as she cruised to victory and 15th WTA title.
Kerber will have to wait to seal her place in Singapore, but having made the final here she has all but confirmed her place in the season finale.
One player who will definitely be there is Radwanska. The Pole dominated maiden finalist Danka Kovinic 6-1, 6-2 to claim the Tianjin open title.
Radwanska did not drop a set all week en route to her sweet 16th WTA title, confirming her place in the Year End Championships. The former Wimbledon finalist will be making her fifth straight appearance at the Tour finale.
“Coming to Asia I didn’t really think I had any chance to go to Singapore, and it’s actually been a very good couple of weeks for me,” Radwanska said in her post match interview.
“Winning Tokyo gave me some chances to go there, and then every match started to matter after that. And I knew if I won here, I would make it there.
“But the pressure didn’t feel too big. I could really play my best tennis in Tianjin this week.”
A sensational turn around, starting with the semi final run at Wimbledon made up for a poor start to the season for the former world number two.
The Linz title went to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after a straight sets victory over Ana Lena Freidsam.
The Russian claimed her first title of the year with a 6-4, 6-3 victory and extends her unbeaten streak indoors to 15 matches.