Svetlana Kuznetsova showed few signs of fatigue from her late Singapore arrival, as the Russian kicked off the White Group action with a thrilling victory over defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska.
The first break of the match went to Radwanska and one game later the Pole had a considerable lead, 4-1. The eighth-seeded Kuznetsova fought back by winning both the break points she earned and won the first set when Radwanska netted a forehand.
In the second set, Radwanska was again the first to go up, 2-0, and even though the seed No.2 dropped serve in the following game, she went on to win all the remaining games to force the third set.
Well, @SvetlanaK27 with something you don’t see everyday. A self haircut while playing tennis ✂️ #WTAFinals pic.twitter.com/j9CwFn7MJ2
— WTA (@WTA) October 24, 2016
Allowing Radwanska to start the decider with 2-0, Kuznetsova finally held serve, for the first time since the first set and what followed was something we had never seen before: Kuznetsova cut a considerable part of her ponytail during the changeover! The haircut ritual (or just a necessity for practical reasons) worked, at least temporarily, and Kuznetsova leveled to 2-2! Radwanska went up 4-2 and even though Kuznetsova leveled again, Radwanska was serving for the set at 5-4. But it was not an end for the two-time Grand Slam champion, who saved one match point, yet again leveled the match and proceeded to win it 7-5 1-6 7-5 in two hours and 48 minutes.
Kuznetsova is the WTA player with most three-setters won in 2016 (21). Radwanska has never beaten Kuznetsova after losing the first set. Kuznetsova now leads their H2H 13-4.