SINGAPORE - Agnieszka Radwanska's strong return of serve was key to her win over Karolina Pliskova 7-5 6-3 in the final round robin match of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. The victory earned Radwanska a spot in the event's semifinals.
One of the best returners in the game, Radwanska was facing one of the best servers in the game in Friday's match.
Through this season, Radwanska is among the Top 3 on the WTA for return points won (49%), return games won (49%) and break points converted (54%).
She was facing an opponent in Pliskova who led the WTA in aces (530) and was second for first serve points won (74%) in 2016.
The SAP Coaches View shows that it was Pliskova's second serve that was vulnerable to Radwanska's return, with the Pole winning 61% of those points.
The "Return of Serve" tracking with Coaches View shows that a key to Radwanska's success was her aggressive approach in taking those Pliskova second serves. Radwanska returned 78% of Pliskova's second serves from inside the baseline.
During the first two round-robin matches of the tournament, Pliskova won 47% of second serve points, compared to 36% against Radwanska. Neither of her first two opponents, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Garbiñe Muguruza, were as aggressive as Radwanska in taking the ball early. Kuznetsova returned 57% of Pliskova's second serves inside the baseline, while Muguruza did so just 10% of the time.
The SAP Coaches View combines scoring information direct from the chair umpire with tracking data from HawkEye to allow for an in depth look at five different aspects of a match. Each tracking option can be filtered to narrow the focus to specific situations within a match, such as break points.This information is available directly to coaches in real-time during a match on their SAP tablet and also available to them online after matches.
"Return of serve" tracking shows where each service return was struck, differentiating between first and second serves, with an emphasis on how many serves are returned from inside the baseline. This data can be filtered by a particular score.
Radwanska broke Pliskova five times in 10 games during Friday's match, giving the defending champion a berth in the semifinals as she aims for a second straight WTA Finals title.