Safarova helps Kvitova to reach Singapore semis

Wilson Blade 9

Friday at the 2015 WTA Finals in Singapore was the last day of play in the tournament’s White Group and it turned out to be a day of surprises inside Singapore’s Indoor Stadium. The first two rounds of round-robin play had left the tournament with quite a complicated setup, since all four players in the group still had theoretical chances of making the semifinals.

Halfway through the first match between Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova, things were starting to clear up as Muguruza punched her semifinal ticket by winning the first set against the two-time Wimbledon champion. Kvitova rebounded in the second though, forcing a decider, which Muguruza ultimately decided in her favor, not only completing her three for three record in Singapore, but also narrowing down Kvitova’s chances to advance.

Having won only one of her three Singapore matches and two sets in the other two encounters, Kvitova suddenly relied on the help of friend Lucie Safarova. The Czech #2 not only needed to beat Angelique Kerber for Kvitova to advance, Safarova would need to get the job done in straight sets as well.

Considering the fact that Safarova hadn’t won a singles match ever since New Haven after becoming ill afterwards, it all seemed like a very tall order, especially considering Kerber’s recent form. But as it has been often the case in Fed Cup before, Friday once again showed that the close-knit Czech team can depend on each other. Safarova delivered a masterful performance, outplaying an overwhelmed Kerber, who had to pack her bags afterwards, as Kvitova clinched the remaining semifinal spot.

Safarova’s heroic efforts will result in a cracking semifinal on Friday, as Petra Kvitova will be facing off with Maria Sharapova in a rematch of their 2011 Wimbledon final, while Garbine Muguruza will be playing Agniezska Radwanska in the other semifinal.

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