SINGAPORE - Karolina Pliskova reached uncharted territory at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global on Tuesday, thanks to a 6-2, 6-2 White Group win over Garbiñe Muguruza.
Pliskova's seventh victory in nine matches against the Spaniard gives her a 2-0 record in round robin play, and coupled with Venus Williams' three hour, 13-minute win over Jelena Ostapenko earlier in the day, assures the Czech the top spot in the group, and a place in the semifinals of the year-end event for the first time.
Conversely, Wimbledon champion Muguruza still has a chance to qualify for the semifinals, with everything on the line for both her and Williams as the two face off on Thursday. At 0-2, Ostapenko is eliminated.
Pliskova qualified for the WTA Finals for the first time last season, where she was eliminated in the group stage behind a 1-2 record and a third-place finish.
Her lone win a year ago in the group stage came in epic fashion against Muguruza - a 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-5 to open the week - but there were little struggles for the No.3 seed in Tuesday's affair.
Five breaks of serve secured Pliskova a second 6-2, 6-2 for the week, as she defeated Venus Williams by the same score to open round-robin play on Monday.
Despite never trailing in the match, Pliskova nonetheless held off a late push from the WTA Player of the Year. Muguruza staved off a second-set bagel in heroic fashion, saving four match points on serve before earning her first break of the match, but the Czech had the answer and wrapped up a love break in the final game with a forehand winner down the line.
More to come...
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