Going into the 2015 WTA Finals in Singapore, many experts where doubting whether Maria Sharapova would be able to make an impact in this season’s year-end championships.
Having not been played a full match since the Wimbledon semifinal due to injury, the Russian looked like she was running out of time to become properly fit for one of the biggest tournaments of the year. Two rounds into the event, everything has changed, as Sharapova has suddenly become the powerhouse of the tournament so far.
Following a successful three-set battle against Agnieszka Radwanska on Sunday, Sharapova fought past Simona Halep on Tuesday, keeping her spotless record against the Romanian very much intact, by clinching a straight-set win, much to the delight of the Singapore crowd that has clearly chosen Sharapova as their favorite player.
The second win of the week is giving Sharapova excellent chances to advance out of the Red Group, since all the tennis superstar needs is to win a single set against Flavia Pennetta to make the semifinals.
The rest of the group is much more complicated to predict due to the outcome of Tuesday’s second match, as Flavia Pennetta kept her WTA Finals campaign alive by beating Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets.
This puts the Pole into the awkward position of only having theoretical chances to advance, because Radwanska is not the master of her own domain anymore. Aga has to win her match against Halep in straight sets and hope for Sharapova to beat Pennetta in straights. Every other possible scenario will send Radwanska into her off-season.
The second round-robin stage will conclude on Wednesday with the White Group matches, featuring the encounter of Garbine Mugurza & Angelique Kerber and the all-Czech duel between Petra Kvitova & Lucie Safarova, both of which are trying to save their WTA Finals campaigns after losing their first matches.