SINGAPORE - A day on from experiencing one of the most humbling defeats of her career, Serena Williams restored a sense of normality to the WTA Finals with an equally one-sided victory over Eugenie Bouchard.
Fifty-seven minutes was all it took for Williams to dismiss Bouchard, 6-1, 6-1, and move up into second place in the Red Group. If she is to reach the semifinals, the American must now hope her conqueror, Simona Halep, does her a favor against Ana Ivanovic on Friday.
Williams' victory means Halep has now qualified from the group, however, there is still plenty riding on the outcome her match with Ivanovic; should Halep take at least a set from the Serb, she will guarantee top spot and that Williams joins her in the knockout stages.
After picking up just two games from Halep, Williams knew the defense of her WTA Finals crown hung by a thread and she responded by playing her best tennis since the US Open.
The American in no mood to hang around, firing winners from all over the court, eventually putting Bouchard out of her misery by swatting away an overhead on her first match point.
"Yesterday was tough for me but I had to put it behind me," Williams said. "My coach really helped me out and to focus on today, telling me that I’m still in the tournament, even though I felt like I was out of it after such a tough loss."
Williams took out this frustration on the ball, a couple of fierce serves contributing to her total of 16 winners. “I was up 4-0, so I thought I’d hit a big serve and see what happens. It was 200km? I don’t even know what that is in miles!"