The German does not do things by halves. After a now legendary melt-down at the end of last year’s finale where the knowledge that she needed just a single set to advance to the semi-finals sent her into a tail-spin, she has made that experience count.
Two Grand Slams at either end of the season, one Slam final, an Olympic silver medal, the World No, 1 ranking and now confirmed as the year-end no. 1, this must surely be the year that she breaks her voodoo on the Round Robin front and advances past the group stages for the first time.
This time last year, Radwanska was 1-2 down in the group stages before up-ending the dominant Garbiñe Muguruza in the semi-finals to eventually lift the trophy, albeit looking stunned in the process. The hope had been that she would be able to use this as a platform to chase that elusive first Grand Slam title.
Her best run was at the start of the year, having opened the season with a title in Shenzhen before going on to reach the semi-final of the Australian Open, battered by Serena Williams in the process. The rain in France made things nigh on impossible for the non-power hitters to batter the ball through mud, and Wimbledon, which many think remain her best hope for silver (and gold) ware ended at the hands of an inspired Dominika Cibulkova, as well as exiting the US Open in the fourth round.
There are plenty of points to try and hold on to for the Pole, as she bids to defend the biggest title of her career to date.
In 2014, Halep made quite the entrance, trouncing Williams in the group stages, before battling on to face her in the finals – where Williams reciprocated! Last year though seemed to be a bit of an unhappy hunting ground for the Romanian, not getting out of the group stages.
This year, under the tutelage of Darren Cahill, she seems to have regained some of her earlier swagger, and we expect her to be a force to be reckoned with in the draw.
The only newbie in the top seeding, Pliskova has really hit her groove at the tail end of the year, winning the title in Cincinnati title (and stopping Kerber’s first attempt to grab the World No. 1 seeding)
Her run to the US Open final announced her intent – but Kerber’s experience won out, but with a packed schedule as she has also qualified for the doubles for the WTA Finals – expect to see her confident game on form.
The WTA Finals take place between the 23-30 October.
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