SINGAPORE - Sometimes it's hard to keep track of who is best friends with who on the WTA.
But let's see if we got this right: Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska have been close friends since childhood. But Wozniacki also hangs out with Serena Williams and they have publicly proclaimed themselves as best friends or "besties" as some like to say.
Friday turned out to be the day when having friends in the right places could help a player navigate through the group stages of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
In the opening match, Radwanska dropped a three set thriller to Maria Sharapova after mounting an incredible second-set resurrection where she trailed 5-1. Radwanska eventually turned the deficit into a 6-5 lead, but Sharapova battled back to tie it and ultimately lost the set in a tie-breaker. The slim loss eliminated Sharapova from the tournament, but that didn't keep her from winning the match, 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-2.
Radwanska ended up in a precarious position thanks to Friday's loss. She had no choice but to turn to her close friend, Wozniacki, for help in defeating Petra Kvitova and promised to take her shopping should she do her a solid Wozniacki delivered with a flawless performance, 6-2, 6-3, and expects to collect.
"She told me that too," Wozniacki said. "I hope she's going to keep her promise. She owes me a handbag. I think that's what I'm going to go for."
In the round robin finale, Ana Ivanovic needed to defeat Simona Halep in straight sets in order to advance ahead of Serena Williams. Ivanovic battled to win the first set 7-6(7) and was very much alive in the second set. She trailed 4-3 and lost control of her serve, the game, set and ultimately the tournament. To Ivanovic's credit, she worked hard to ultimately deny Halep a perfect round robin record. In the end, the Red Group ended with Halep, Williams and Ivanovic all finishing 2-1. Ivanovic ended up losing on a tie-breaker.
Saturday's semifinals will see best friends Williams and Wozniacki square off. The pair have met three times this season with the ,stakes growing each time. Williams bested Wozniacki in the Montréal quarterfinals and the Cincinnati semifinals and beat her in straight sets to win the US Open. Now, the best friends will compete for the right to play for the WTA title.
"Well, my match-up against (Williams) hasn't been that great," Wozniacki said. "I won once and lost like 10 times or nine. I don't know. I don't even count anymore. But it's a new tournament. It's a new week and I've been playing well, really. Again, I believe if I play like I did today, doesn't matter who's on the other side, I can win."
Halep and Radwanska met just twice this year, but this will mark the third time they meet in a tournament semifinal. Halep won the first meeting in Doha and Radwanska avenged that loss with a victory at Indian Wells.