The 2017 WTA Finals in Singapore kicked off with a bang. It may be missing some of the world’s most well-known names in tennis this year but names are being made and for two time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza and the no nonsense Czech Karolina Pliskova it was a straight forward start to their campaign.
Pliskova 6-2 6-2 Venus
Easily one of Karolina’s best performances over the last 6 months. Coming into this tournament there is pressure on Karolina as her season has fallen a little flat after Roland Garros but this performance against Venus will boost confidence.
The court plays to Karolina’s strengths. Indoor hard courts suit her game especially when it is a slow court like in Singapore. I think this is where Karolina has struggled lately is the fast courts catch out her lack of anticipation, movement and when things are going well conviction behind shots but it was on par against Venus.
Image Credit – BT Sport / WTA
What I liked about Pliskova’s performance was the conviction and confidence was there behind her shot making. She opened up the court well with the forehand, the backhand was sharp and she introduced the drop shot at good times but that crushing forehand did the trick throughout the match. You could sense the nervousness even after winning the first set 6-2 she called on her coach but she quickly found her rhythm once again in set two to win with a routine performance.
Muguruza 6-3 6-4 Ostapenko
As a debutant in Singapore the Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko held her ground very well but Muguruza wasn’t in a forgiving mood.
The Wimbledon champion had that no nonsense look on her face from the beginning of the match and used her power and determination behind the baseline to dictate play.
A criticism of the Spaniard at times has been the lack of movement and poor footwork but she definitely had that bounce in her footwork and it propelled her to victory. She never stood still against an opponent she knows can unleash a stunning forehand.
Day one saw convincing wins for two of the four, day two will see the other four in action but day three is already so vital in Singapore as Venus takes on Ostapenko in a must win for both players and Muguruza and Pliskova will not only be aiming for that semi-final spot but also yearend number one is on the line this week as well.