Elina Svitova and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki were both 3-set winners Tuesday at the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Svitolina got past former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 for a third straight time.
“My goal was to make an extra ball over the net and fight until the very end and for every point, to don’t give any easy errors,” Svitolina said. “I think this was the key today. It worked really good, because I think Karolina was up and down and struggling sometimes with her serve. I had to be ready to take my chances. That’s why I’m very happy with that.
“It was a really challenging opening match, and this one, as well, so I’m very happy that I could handle those two, and I still have my next match very, very tough and, you know, I’m looking forward to it.”
Wozniacki went the distance in a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 winner over 2-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, ending a 4-match losing streak to the Czech.
“Against Petra, you just have to stay on your game, so I tried to stay focused and get a lot of balls back,” said Wozniacki. “I just had the belief and fought until the end.
“I know Petra’s patterns, but it doesn’t always help. You know, she plays so fast that sometimes you just don’t have time,” she added. “I think it worked well for me today, and I just tried to make her feel uncomfortable and make her feel like she couldn’t be in position all the time, and it worked well for me.”
After her wins over Kvitova and now Pliskova, Svitolina stands 2-0 in the White Group. Wozniacki is 1-1, tied with Pliskova. Kvitova falls to 0-2. Svitolina and Wozniacki meet on Thursday.
“It’s another tough battle,” Svitolina said of Wozniacki. “She’s a fighter and so am I. It’s gonna be a tough match, you know. There is no easy matches here, so, you know, recover, practice – and here you go again, playing on Thursday.”
None of the four players have advanced or been eliminated in the White Group.
On Wednesday, the last three US Opens champions will be on court. Noami Osaka meets Angelique Kerber and Sloane Stephens battles late entrant Kiki Bertens.
Stephens and Bertens are 1-0 in the Red Group. If the match ends in straight sets, the winner will advance out of the round robin stage.
“I think we played in Rome ,” Bertens said of facing Stephens. “I don’t remember the match at all, honestly, but I remember that I lost.
“It’s so long ago, so I think like in this group, which I like, I haven’t played Sloane for a few years also. Naomi I played like only three or two years ago once, so I think it’s nice to just face some different opponents now.”
Osaka, who lost to Stephens in her opener, will be eliminated should she lose and Bertens wins.
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