Get your popcorn ready… It's semifinal Saturday at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global! Preview all the action—both singles and doubles—right here at
WTA Staff

SINGAPORE - Get your popcorn ready? It's semifinal Saturday at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global! Chris Oddo previews all the action?both singles and doubles?right here at



[8] Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS #9) vs. [7] Dominika Cibulkova (RUS #8)
Head-to-head: Cibulkova leads, 5-3
Key Stat: Kuznetsova has won a WTA-leading 22 three-set matches in 2016.

They were the last two to qualify for Singapore, and one of them will be one of the last two standing on Sunday. Both Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dominika Cibulkova have kept the pedal to the metal since the Asian Swing began, but on Saturday only one will get to continue the magical ride?the other will tap the brakes and begin the off-season. If their last battle is any indication, fans should expect an intense struggle. Cibulkova prevailed over Kuznetsova in a two-hour and 40-minute semifinal in Wuhan three weeks ago, but the match could have gone either way. "I was a little bit too passive and playing a little bit too short," Kuznetsova said of the match at the time. "I felt like I was controlling. I stopped a little bit or started to play different game and I lost the way."

The Russian said on Friday that she's learned a few things from the experience of losing a close battle to Cibulkova (it was their first meeting in five years), but she wasn't about to divulge too much to reporters. "I do remember quite a bit from that match, and I will try to do the changes of what didn't work for me in that match," she said with a smile, "but of course I'm not going to tell it to you now."

Cibulkova, the only WTA Finals debutante to reach the semis in Singapore this year, is riding high on confidence after a brilliant season that has seen her win three titles and climb to a career-high ranking of No.8 in the world. She credits consistency as the key to her rise. "I always thought about myself, like I'm a good player, I can beat top players. But I was missing consistency in my game," she told reporters after her win over Kuznetsova in Wuhan. "This is the first year that I'm really consistent playing the whole year."

This battle between two of the tour's most ferocious battlers figures to be intense, dramatic and tight to the finish. Forget about the technicals, this one will likely come down to heart and soul?qualities that both have in spades.

Pick: Kuznetsova in three

Agnieszka Radwanska

[1] Angelique Kerber (GER #1) vs. [2] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #3)
Head-to-head: Radwanska leads, 6-5
Key Stat: Radwanska's 11 WTA Finals wins are third among active players, behind only Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

Good friends and the top two seeds in Singapore, Angelique Kerber and Agnieszka Radwanska will square off for the 12th time in Saturday's second semifinal. The friendship can wait - this is business. Defending WTA Finals champion Radwanska admits that she's been impressed to watch Kerber's rise in 2016, but that doesn't mean she doesn't see herself with a very good shot at taking her down. "She has been playing unbelievably this year on every surface, making so many finals in the big events, so for sure now she's playing like a No.1 player and that's what she deserves," Radwanska told reporters on Friday after ensuring her semifinal qualification by defeating Karolina Pliskova in straight sets. "Of course, she's No.1 and she's going to finish No.1, but I think here matches are 50-50, everybody has the same chance. Everything is open in the semifinals."

Certainly their head-to-head history points to a hard-fought tussle. The pair have split their last six hardcourt matches, and on the slow-paced surface at Singapore Indoor Stadium the player who can open the court and better set up points with sequences will be rewarded. Aga I know very well and we both play very tough matches," Kerber said. "I think we will have a lot of long rallies when I play against her."

In her fourth appearance at the WTA Finals, Kerber will play her first semifinal at this event. The World No.1 may not have been ready for such a challenge in previous years but this is a new and improved Kerber. "Now I know how to go out there with all the pressures I have on my shoulders," Kerber said on Thursday after wrapping up round-robin play with a win over Madison Keys. "I know how to play and how to focus on what I'm doing on court. I know how to play these matches right now."

Will Kerber's confidence give her the edge against one of the few players that can match her in a crafty and counterpunching capacity, or will it be the defending champ summoning her Singapore magic again?

Pick: Kerber in three

Lucie Safarova, Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Doubles Semifinals:

[1] Caroline Garcia / Kristina Mladenovic vs.[3] Bethanie Mattek-Sands / Lucie Safarova

Three of the four contestants in Saturday's first doubles semifinal (Mladenovic, Garcia, Mattek-Sands) have a shot to ascend to the No.1 ranking this weekend at Singapore. The French duo of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic have dropped their last two matches against Mattek-Sands and Safarova, including a three-set loss in the US Open final.

[2] Martina Hingis / Sania Mirza vs.[4] Ekaterina Makarova / Elena Vesnina

Team SanTina, reunited in Singapore after ending their legendary partnership this summer, will look to move to 5-0 against the Russian duo. Makarova and Vesnina added an Olympic Gold to their résumé this summer, and they are the only all-Russian team to hold multiple major titles. Mirza has held the WTA's No.1 doubles ranking for the last 81 weeks, and she is bidding for a WTA Finals three-peat, after winning her second title last season with Hingis at her side.

By the Numbers:

8- Radwanska is bidding to become the eighth player to successfully defend a WTA Finals title.

599 - Number of matches that Kuznetsova has won in her career. The Russian will bid to become the 18th WTA player to ascend to the 600-win mark on Saturday.

17 - Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova saved three match points to earn their 17th consecutive victory on Thursday, 5-7, 7-6, 10-2 over Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova.

9 - Mirza has gone undefeated at the WTA Finals, winning all nine matches with two partners (Black, 2014, Hingis, 2015-16)

1996 - The year a German last won the WTA Finals (Graf, 1996)

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