WTA Finals semifinals: Radwanska-Muguruza, Sharapova-Kvitova
The 2015 WTA Finals semifinals begin on Saturday in Singapore, as the World No. 1 doubles team of Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza will kick off play against Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chang at 12:30 p.m. local time, followed by a singles matchup between No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska takes on No. 2 Garbine Muguruza. In the evening matches beginning at 6:30 p.m. local time, No. 3 Maria Sharapova will take on No. 4 Petra Kvitova, followed by the final doubles semifinals match between Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka and Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro.
No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. No. 2 Garbine Muguruza
Head to head: Muguruza leads 4–2
In her final round robin match in the White Group on Friday, Muguruza needed two hours and 33 minutes to defeat Petra Kvitova 6–4, 4–6, 7–5 to bring her record to 3–0 and advance to the semifinals. World No. 3 Muguruza is also into the WTA Finals doubles semifinals with her partner Carla Suarez Navarro and the pair will play in the second evening match on Saturday against Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.
“For sure I'm tired today,” Muguruza said after the match on Friday. “It's going to a challenge for me to see how much my body can handle, because now I don't have a day off. It's great to be in my position I think now, to be playing singles and doubles semifinals.”
Radwanska put herself in position to qualify for the semifinals after a straight sets victory—her 500th career win—over No. 1 Simona Halep in her final round robin match on Thursday. She needed the help of Maria Sharapova, who took care of business against Flavia Pennetta to advance the Pole into the semifinals.
While Radwanska will have an extra day of rest heading into Saturday’s matchup, the Spaniard holds the advantage over the World No. 6 and has won all four of their matches in 2015, at Sydney, Dubai, Wimbledon and Beijing. Their two most recent meetings were both semifinals matchups that went the distance—Muguruza was runner-up at Wimbledon to Serena Williams in July and advanced to the Beijing final where she won her first title of the season, second of her career, earlier this month.
No. 4 Petra Kvitova vs. No. 3 Maria Sharapova
Head to head: Sharapova leads 6–3
After losing to Muguruza on Friday, Kvitova needed the help of countrywoman Lucie Safarova in the final round robin match to advance to the semifinals. Safarova pulled through by defeating Angelique Kerber 6–4, 6–3.
While the Russian dominates their head-to-head matchup, Sharapova and Kvitova have not faced each other since last year’s WTA Finals, where the Czech prevailed 6–3, 6–2 in round robin play. Sharapova advanced to the semifinals win a 7–5, 6–1 win over Flavia Pennetta where she hit 30 winners and seven aces, and even added in some drop shots.
"That's something I've improved. As a player you always try to add a few things here and there. You try to keep the things that make you who you are, but the drop shots seem to be working well, too.
"I didn't have a great result here last year, but as I left the court I won my last match, a really tough three-setter against Radwanska," Sharapova said. "Even though I didn't make it to the semifinals last year I was proud I won my last match. That gave me energy, and now I'm back 12 months later."