Angelique Kerber has continued her march towards a maiden WTA Finals crown with a comprehensive 6-2 6-1 victory over defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska in Singapore.
The win sets up a title showdown against Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova.
The German has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with victories at the Australian and US opens to usurp Serena Williams atop of the world rankings and after another dominant display, is favoured to cap her season with the Singapore title today.
“I was trying to be focused on every single point because playing against her is so tough, so I just made sure I played my game and was aggressive,” Kerber said. “It’s amazing to think that I will be in the final.”
Both players are renowned for exemplary defence and supreme athleticism but with serving not considered their strongest suit, it was hardly surprising the contest started with three straight breaks in favour of the German.
Kerber gave her Polish opponent no free points, got everything back and forced Radwanska into an extra shot on every rally, the constant pressure leading to another, decisive break in the seventh game.
Radwanska struggled for answers as the alarmingly consistent Kerber dominated with four more breaks.
In the first semi-final, Cibulkova continued her dream debut at the elite eight-woman event with an absorbing 1-6 7-6(2) 6-4 victory over Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The 27-year-old, who’d won their past five encounters, enjoyed a bright opening and threatened on Kuznetsova’s first service game but some booming forehands bailed out the Russian, who edged ahead when she broke in the third game.
Firing on all cylinders, she pushed Cibulkova around the court, forcing her into errors and the rampant Russian secured two more breaks to complete a run of six straight games to wrap up the opener.
Cibulkova responded by stepping up her intensity in the second set and, as the tension mounted, neither player was capable of holding serve. Four consecutive breaks from the ninth game sent it to a tiebreaker.
Cibulkova maintained her aggression, sprinting 6-2 ahead as Kuznetsova struggled to keep pace and the Slovakian sent the contest into a decider when she rifled a backhand winner.
The third set was punctuated by momentum swings before Cibulkova followed up a gutsy hold from 15-40 in the ninth to seal victory with another break.