SINGAPORE - In the battle between the WTA’s two winningest players it was Caroline Wozniacki that triumphed, taking down Elina Svitolina in straight sets to start wrap up Red Group action on Day 2 of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
No.4 seed Svitolina came into the matchup with a 3-0 lead in the head-to-head against Wozniacki, but her WTA Finals debut will be one to forget after losing 6-2, 6-0 in just 58 minutes.
“I think I played really well and I served well and stayed aggressive,” Wozniacki explained in her post-match press conference. “It was close, especially in the beginning.
“I think I just kind of broke her down a little bit. Then I think she lost the belief or she tried to go a little bit more for it. You know, she just couldn't find a break or find a way to break me.”
Entering the WTA Finals, Wozniacki and Svitolina are the tour’s top match-win leaders, with Wozniacki going 56-20 this season and Svitolina hot on her heels at 52-12. Despite two of Svitolina’s victories coming against Wozniacki - both times in championship matches - she seemed overwhelmed by the occasion and her opponent.
The pair started out the match on even terms with the first five games going the way of the server, but it quickly got away from Svitolina as Wozniacki raised her level. She earned the first break after a double fault and flubbed forehand from Svitolina putting her ahead 4-2, and once she had the lead she didn’t let up.
Wozniacki reeled off ten games in a row to close out the match and earn her first victory in Singapore in just 58 minutes. The Dane struck 16 winners and just five unforced errors against Svitolina, who hit 10 winners and 18 unforced errors. Wozniacki converted every one of the five break points she earned, and her strong serving put her in charge of the rallies from the start.
“I always played [against her] on a little bit faster court; this court is very, very slow,” Svitolina explained in her post-match press conference. “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.
“I will try just to forget this day and play my next match like nothing happen and try to find the way to come back.”
Wozniacki will face off against top seed Simona Halep, and Svitolina gets No.8 Caroline Garcia on Wednesday.
Despite today's lopsided result, both players are still alive in the Red Group. Wozniacki can secure her passage into the knockout stage as soon as Wednesday, qualifying as Red Group winner if she and Svitolina both win their next match. However, if Garcia defeats Svitolina, Wozniacki would qualify for the knockout stage regardless with a victory over Halep.