Agnieszka Radwanska (photo ©Andrew Campbell) reached the final coming second in her round robin group losing to Maria Sharapova and Flavia Pennetta and defeating Simona Halep then defeating Garbiñe Muguruza in the semifinals. This is her first final in WTA Finals.
Petra Kvitova reached the final coming second in her round robin group losing to Angelique Kerber and Garbiñe Muguruza and defeating Lucie Safarova then defeating Maria Sharapova in the semifinals. She won this tournament in 2011, when it was known as the WTA Championships.
Petra Kvitova makes some mistakes in the first game and Agnieszka Radwanska immediately breaks her. The Czech is contracted in this beginning of the final and makes several errors, so many that in the fifth game loses her service game again. The Pole’s variations stress Kvitova’s insecurities so she struggles to win her service games. In the eighth game Radwanska easily closes the first set 6-2.
In the second set Petra Kvitova keeps on making mistakes and once again Agnieszka Radwanska exploits that to break her in the first game. The Czech tries to react by limiting her errors and in the sixth game breaks the Pole bringing the score to 3-3. The match has changed, so much that Kvitova breaks her opponent again in the tenth game to win the second set 6-4.
At the beginning of the third set Petra Kvitova offers Agnieszka Radwanska a break point in the first game but for the first time she holds serve and in the next game breaks her opponent. The Czech is in one of the moments where she’s almost invincible but after the ups come the downs and in the third game there’s the counter-break for the Pole, who’s more consistent than her opponent, so much that she breaks Kvitova again in the fifth game taking a 3-2 lead. The set becomes a battle with great shots alternating with errors and this is confirmed when the Czech breaks the Pole for a 3-3 tie but gets broken again in the next game. Other errors by Kvitova and a little luck with a ball hitting the net give Radwanska another break to close the third set 6-3 to win the match and her first WTA Finals title.
After the semifinals a controversy began immediately because the they were won by two players who had won just one match out of three in the round robin stage. It’s the first time that this happens, at either men or women level, but it’s just a matter of chance. The formula includes this possibility and the existing balance among the players led to this result. It’s a well-known risk in a tournament in which it was decided that each participant had to play at least three matches.
Petra Kvitova played a final that reflects the ups and downs of her season, also conditioned by her mononucleosis. Unfortunately for her, she managed to play really well only in flashes and only in the second set managed to impose the power of her shots. Usually in big finals she can play well, today not so much. People always expect a lot from her and if she’s in good health can still win big titles.
Agnieszka Radwanska is the biggest surprise of a WTA Finals edition marked by uncertainty. Honestly, I’m glad she won because she has extraordinary technical qualities that make her different from most of her opponents, who tend to play the same way. Today the Pole almost always played well, forcing her opponent to move and therefore to struggle. Radwanska has often problems against powerful opponents but today she managed to limit the damage finding the biggest victory of her career. I don’t know if she can have more opportunities but today she can certainly be happy.