WTA Finals: Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki beats Petra Kvitova to keep hopes of progressing alive

Caroline Wozniacki beat Petra Kvitova (not pictured) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for her first win of this year's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore.
Caroline Wozniacki beat Petra Kvitova (not pictured) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for her first win of this year's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Caroline Wozniacki beat Petra Kvitova (not pictured) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for her first win of this year's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore.
Caroline Wozniacki beat Petra Kvitova (not pictured) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for her first win of this year's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Defending WTA Finals champion Caroline Wozniacki last defeated Petra Kvitova four years ago, the first time the season finale was held in Singapore.

After losing four straight matches to the Czech - one each year from 2015 - the Dane finally got her win on Tuesday (Oct 23).

The Australian Open champion beat Kvitova 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for her first win of this year's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

Wozniacki drew first blood, breaking serve with a forehand winner to lead 5-3.

Kvitova then saved set point at 3-5 down with a forehand winner, and broke back with aggressive play that forced an error off her Danish opponent's racket.

But costly unforced errors from Kvitova in the next two games, including a forehand dumped into the net on set point, saw Wozniacki win the set 7-5.

Slapping her right thigh to pump herself up, Kvitova broke serve to start the second set.

But she then recorded three consecutive unforced errors to give the 28-year-old Wozniacki three break points. After receiving a time violation warning, Kvitova hit her fourth straight shot into the net as the score was levelled at 1-1.


Petra Kvitova in action during the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore match against Caroline Wozniacki (not pictured). ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

But she then held steady, hitting deep, powerful groundstrokes to win the next two games and roaring in triumph after clinching a 3-1 lead.

A medical time-out was called for Wozniacki, who had her left knee treated.

The Dane won the next two games, only for Kvitova to break back and edge ahead again.

 
 

Two forehand winners from Kvitova gave her two set points, but two straight unforced errors brought the score to deuce. Another winner earned her a third set point. As she closed it out with a backhand slice winner to force a decider, the two-time Wimbledon champion pumped her fist and roared.

Wozniacki broke serve to start the third set that saw Kvitova throw her racket after sending a backhand drive volley long.

Though she was moved all over the court, Wozniacki's defence - and energy - never waned. A Kvitova shot that sailed long sealed the win for Wozniacki, whose hopes of progressing remain alive.

"I played much better today - I returned well, I served well, I moved well. Against Petra her pace is so powerful, you just have to stay on your game and you never know what's going to happen, so I just tried to stay focused and get all the balls back," said Wozniacki, who was still catching her breath during the on-court interview.

"I think I just always believe in myself when I go out on court. I believe I can win the match, I believe I'm going to win and then if it's not going your way, you try and find a Plan B and if anyone beats you it's just because she was better than you that day and you respect that.

"So I was just out there, had the belief and fought till the end."