No withdrawals or injuries today but good grief I need a lie down after today’s tennis. We now have our semi-finals confirmed for Saturday. Elina Svitolina will take on Belinda Bencic as we know and Ash Barty will get Karolina Pliskova but first what the hell happened today?
Elina Svitolina made it three out of three and if you were to ask me at the beginning of the week who would get through to the semi-finals unscathed I wouldn’t have had the Ukrainian down as that person but she has pleasantly surprised us all.
Sofia Kenin can walk away with her head held high. It may have been a dead rubber but the American gave as good as she got. A really push asked questions of Elina and she came up with the answers to secure her 9th straight win at the WTA Finals.
There is extra prize money going to be added to the pot for Elina Svitolina. Having won all of her three round robin matches she is guranteed to walk away with $915,000 which is added to a flat $385,000 participation fee. If Elina loses in the semi-finals she will walk away with $1,300,000 but is on course now to win the grand prize of $4,725,000 if she wins the title.
Following this we then had the shootout. Pliskova or Halep.
Well after 20 minutes it did look like being an early night for the locals in Shenzhen as Karolina Pliskova who hadn’t wow’d us yet took the first set 6-0.
I always find it interesting what happens after a bagel because for the loser it can’t get worse but for the winner nine times out of ten it doesn’t get better. If anything it tested Pliskova.
A reaction was expected from Halep and we got it. Pliskova’s serve did drop a little and you could see she was a bit more tense. Halep took on the advice of her coach Darren Cahill and reacted to what was happening out there.
The third set quickly swung the way of the former world number one who found herself 2-0 up and quickly lost 5 games in a row. At 3-2 in the set Simona Halep had an on-court coaching chat with her coach Darren Cahill and it was quite something with the Australian saying to her…
“The last three games you’ve been an absolute disgrace on the court. Give yourself a chance by pulling yourself back in. This is on you. Get your attitude back on track and you will win this match. I have full belief. How are you going to define yourself as an athlete and a competitor? This isn’t even about the result anymore.”
Not mixing his words is he…
It didn’t happen for Halep who despite recent injury problems will be looking back at what could have been in Shenzhen.