Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Osaka faces WTA Finals exit as Kerber edges Singapore classic

Naomi Osaka WTA Finals: Angelique Kerber puts Naomi Osaka on brink of elimination
Frederick Owens | 28 October, 2018, 17:05

Kerber had a chance to win straight sets, but she was broken while serving at 5-4.

On Wednesday, former US Open champion Sloane Stephens overcame gallant Kiki Bertens in another marathon match, a result that breathes life into Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka's teetering Singapore campaign.

Stephens gifted the second set to Osaka when she double-faulted on a second set point in the 10th game. Her last win against Osaka came in the 2018 Wimbledon Championships, where she won effortlessly.

She had 76 per cent of her first serves in during the second set, but she didn't cook them with enough pace and Osaka attacked with victor after winner.

Both these players have a game tilting towards the powerful side and will be looking to improve their rankings via a semi-final appearance in this Year-ending Championship.

During the opening match of her singles round robin, Kerber went up against Kiki Bertens.

"I feel like this match was sort of a continuation of my last match in a way. that I didn't serve well", she told reporters. "I knew this time I had a chance because I was playing pretty well in my other two matches here", Pliskova said on court after the match. Everything has been going so fast, she was 74 after Hobart and now she's here in Singapore, not many people expected that, I don't know who did.

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"I think when I pushed through that and stayed positive, I was able to get a little bit of momentum".

At the Final WTA tournament in Singapore in the red group played the matches of the second round.

The WTA Finals feature the top eight players this year, split into two groups of four.

But Osaka fell apart on serve in the sixth game as the reigning US Open champion wilted under relentless rallying from Kerber to concede a break and fall 4-3 behind. "I'm not like a Kerber expert. I internalize a lot of things, then it just explodes and then I start talking to myself on the court", she said.

Kvitova, who is from the Czech Republic, rarely loses to players from her country.

"Whenever I want to win badly, then it starts becoming emotional, and I can't really control too much, like when it starts going a bit sideways", Osaka, the U.S. champion, said. I wanted to be in top form, but I'm not really there. "Yeah, I think it's really unbelievable that she won the tournament, because like if she were to play like that every match, then it's pretty obvious why".

On Day 3 of the WTA Finals 2018, both the matches went the full distance.

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