Sabalenka will face Caroline Garcia in the finals who beat Sakkari earlier in the first semifinal
Caroline Garcia stopped Maria Sakkaris’s great run to reach her first WTA Finals championship. She beat Sakkari 6-3 6-2 in the first semifinal match on Sunday. In her win, she hit over 19 winners and six aces in Fort Worth, Texas.
The last time the two met in Cincinnati, The Frenchwoman needed three sets to beat Sakkari in Cincinnati three months ago but this time it was different. She broke Sakkari’s serve in the first game itself.
Garcia said that she was more relaxed compared to their previous face-off. “My game style today, she didn’t like it.”
Sakkari did get a much-needed breakpoint chance when Garcia hit a double fault in the sixth game. However, Garcia saved it with an ace Greeks never got any chance to recover.
As Sakkari hit the ball into the net on the second match point the match was all but over for her and the French woman was in the biggest final of her career.
Garcia had come to this match after having a tough three-setter against Russian Daria Kastakina “This morning I woke up (and) the leg was a little bit heavy… nothing unusual,” she said. She said that she didn’t have much time to think about it
Semifinal 2: Sabalenka stuns #1 Swiatek.
7th seed Sabalenka ended World No.1 Iga Swiatek’s run of 15 consecutive wins against the top 10 on Sunday night. Sabalenka beat the Pole by 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 in the second semifinal of the WTA Finals on Sunday night.
This was Belarusian’s 28th third setter match and the third final of 2021
The last time Former no. 2 won over Swiatek was the 2021 WTA Finals match. Since then both met four times and world no 1 always prevailed over her.
However, Sabalenka came close to winning in the US Open semifinals, when she broke Swiatek in the third set but Swiatek turned the tables then and eventually won the Slam.
The last time Sabalneka defeated number 1 was in 2021 Madrid against Ash Barty.
Swiatek’s great run has come to an end this year. In 2021 Swiatek had a 67-9 win-loss record with 8 titles. She also won French Open and the US open.
Ironically Both Swiatek and Maria Sakkari clean swept the round-robin with 3-0 records, but neither made it to the final of the tournament.
The last time this happened was at WTA Finals 2015, where both Maria Sharapova and Garbiñe Muguruza crashed out in the semifinals despite winning all three in the round-robin.
However, in the second set, Swiatek upped her game and brought her forehand into the game, jumping to a 4-0 lead. And with a backhand winner down the line, she equalled the match with 1 set apiece.
Sabalenka came back firing again in the third. She quickly broke Swiatek and was 3-1 soon just like the US open. The game was over for the Pole.
Sabalenka will face Caroline Garcia in the finals.
In the doubles section, the top seeds and defending champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova reached yet another final and are just one match away from the consecutive WTA Championship.
The Czech pair will now face No.4 seeds Elise Mertens and Veronika Kudermetova, who are their playing their first WTA Finals as a team and have lost just one set in the journey to the finals.
Kudermetova and Mertens beat No.8 seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs in straight 6-1, 6-1. The match lasted for just 56 minutes.
Interestingly, three of the four players in Monday’s final will be the same that were in last year’s final at Guadalajara, where Krejcikova and Siniakova got better off Mertens and Hsieh Su-Wei for the Championship.
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