Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki threw down the gauntlet to seize control of the Red Group on Day 2, while Elina Svitolina had her worst day in years. WTA Insider checks in from the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen
October 24, 2017

SINGAPORE - Reflections after Day 2 at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, where the Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki took control of the counter-punching Red Group. 

No.1 Scenarios Update: Jelena Ostapenko out. 

After the first two days, the field of women who could finish the year at No.1 has been whittled down from seven to six. With her opening loss to Garbiñe Muguruza, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko is now out of the running.

The results over the first two days also provided additional clarity on the scenarios for the following players:

- No.3 Karolina Pliskova must reach the final to have a chance at No.1
- No.4 Svitolina must reach the final to have a chance at No.1
- No.5 Venus Williams must win the title to have a chance at No.1
- No.6 Wozniacki must win the title to have a chance at No.1

Elina Svitolina's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 

The World No.4 was shell-shocked as she tried to explain her frustrating performance against Caroline Wozniacki, which saw her lose 10 straight games to bow out 6-2, 6-0. Svitolina had dominated Wozniacki in their head-to-head (3-0) and beat the Dane without losing a set twice this year in big finals in Dubai and Toronto.

Playing in her WTA Finals debut, Svitolina was left shaking her head after playing what she described as her worst match in "a couple of years".

"Caroline was playing really good, was serving very, very good," Svitolina said. "You know, all the credit to her because I think it's one of the best matches she played when I was playing against her. She was very, very solid today. I played a very bad match. So for me, it's very -- yeah, I'm very disappointed with the performance today."

"Today I completely lost my rhythm after a couple of games and was all over the place. Was feeling very, very bad on court today."

"It's very, very sad that it happens in this tournament, because for me, of course, I want to play good here. I want to be at my best, but unfortunately today, was not -- yeah, was a terrible day for me."
Elina Svitolina

"I was just not feeling anything today, actually. Days like this happen, and I was trying to fight, to trying to find the way, but unfortunately, nothing was working today, and it's very, very sad that it happens in this tournament, because for me, of course, I want to play good here. I want to be at my best, but unfortunately today, you know, was not -- yeah, was a terrible day for me.

"You know, I still have, what, two hours maybe of this day, 23rd of October," Svitolina said with a laugh. "Then it's gonna be the 24th and going to be a new day. You're gonna have new chances to make it better."

Svitolina's interview ended on a note of gallows humor. Asked to preview her upcoming match against Caroline Garcia, Svitolina was confused, insisting that she played Simona Halep on Wednesday. She broke into a fit of laughter after being corrected. 

"This day needs to end."

Caroline Garcia embracing the experience.

The 24-year-old came into Singapore having won 11 consecutive matches, but tour matches are different from WTA Finals matches. The occasion, the atmosphere, and unique pressures of the WTA Finals can take some time to get used to, and Garcia said she couldn't fool herself into thinking this was "just" another tournament.

"For sure it was different," Garcia said after her 6-4, 6-2 loss to Halep. "I mean, I try to forget about all of this and just focus on the game and everything, but, you know, I'm not perfect yet, and probably will never be.

"So just is an experience. And for sure it was difficult to be only focused on myself, on the game. When I walked on court, I knew it was the WTA Finals and it was about something different."

Red Group Qualification Scenarios for Wednesday

The Red Group will be back in action on Wednesday, with No.1 Halep vs. No.6 Wozniacki in a battle for supremacy in the Red Group, while No.4 Svitolina vs. No.8 Garcia will be a tough scrap to keep their qualification chances afloat. 

- If Halep and Garcia win, Halep qualifies as group winner, Svitolina is eliminated (Garcia and Wozniacki would play for the No.2 spot on Friday).

- If Halep wins in straight sets and Svitolina wins in three sets, Halep qualifies, with her position to be determined.

- If Wozniacki and Svitolina win Wednesday, Wozniacki qualifies as group winner, Garcia is eliminated (Svitolina and Halep play for the No.2 spot on Friday)

If Wozniacki wins in straight sets and Garcia wins in three sets, Wozniacki qualifies, with her position to b determined. 

Any other combination of results will mean qualification comes down to Friday’s matches

Simona Halep looks to Serena Williams for inspiration

Never stop improving. That's the Halep motto not just when it comes to her tennis, but also to...fashion? The World No.1 was asked to pick the most fashionable player on tour:

"I think I said Serena a few days ago," Halep said. "I think that she's mixing very well the clothes. When it's elegant it's elegant, and sometimes when she goes to some events - I saw her in pictures - with also casual shoes that she's wearing, and nice dresses, so I like her style.

"It was nice [to visit the National Design Center], and I start to learn more how I have to dress because I need to learn more," she said, laughing.

Stat of the Day: Four players came into this year's WTA Finals having never played a singles match at the Singapore Indoor Stadium: Elina Svitolina, Venus Williams, Jelena Ostapenko, and Caroline Garcia. None won a set. 

GIF of the Day

Shot(s) of the Day: The Halep backhand-down-the-line was firing on Monday.

Quote of the Day: Caroline Wozniacki was pleased as punch to get the news that she's now 'Auntie Caroline'...

"I am officially an aunt, and my brother had a baby yesterday. Yeah, so my first win. He was watching apparently today. I had photo evidence. You know, we're schooling him very young. One day old. 

"You know, he's kind of giving me baby fever. He's so cute. He's adorable."