The WTA Finals, and the tour’s 2016 season, will conclude on Sunday in Singapore with a match between the most-likely and the least-likely of contenders.
Kerber is the world No. 1 and top seed, and she seems to be peaking at the right moment. The German’s level has risen with each match, so much so that she made exceedingly quick work of the tournament’s No. 2 seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-2, 6-1, in the semifinals.
Kerber is in the final again:
When Kerber reached the Australian Open final, pundits said that her defensive game stood no chance against the offensive prowess of Serena Williams. Despite being World No.1, she wasnt the heavy favorite to lift the US Open title either.
And experts used her lackluster performances, during minor tournaments in between slams to justify their position.
After reaching the top of the rankings, Kerber put on poor performances, going 5-3 in tournaments between the U.S. Open and the WTA Finals. She clearly failed to use the momentum of winning the US Open in her favor.
After her dominant semifinal win over defending champion Radwanska—which ran her record to 4-0 at the WTA Finals in Singapore—it looks like Angelique Kerber is once again back on track.
But after toughing out a grueling three-setter against Dominika Cibulkova, the German has settled into a groove, winning in straights over Simona Halep and Madison Keys before making Radwanska look like an amateur.
ITS JUST AMAZING TO BE HERE, SAID KERBER, WHO IS PLAYING IN THE EVENT FOR THE FOURTH TIME.
ITS BEEN AN INCREDIBLE 12 MONTHS. IVE BEEN REALLY WORKING AT BEING FOCUSED, BEING CALM AND BEING POSITIVE ON COURT AND THIS IS THE BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT IVE MADE.
In her two Grand Slam-winning performances at the Australian and US Opens in 2016, the world No. 1 saved her best for last, much like Stan Wawrinka on the ATP tour, except for the fact that shes much more consistent. Now, she’s on the verge of delivering once again and crowning a season for the ages with the prestigious 2016 WTA Finals title.
What to expect from the final:
Kerber leads the head to head with Cibulkova only by a narrow 5-4 margin, but she has won their last five meetings, including a round-robin encounter in Singapore earlier in the week. It was a tight and well-played match all the way, with Kerber sneaking through the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-5.
And the last few games of the third set featured some of the best baseline hitting of the year from both women. In the final, however, much will depend on Cibulkova’s ability to control the middle of the court, and to make her putaway shots whenever she gets them.
Kerber will keep posing questions; it will be up to Cibi to provide the answers, over and over again. After a long week of tennis, and an excruciatingly long and physical semifinal, that’s going to be a lot to ask against an indefatigable player like Angie.
In recent years on the ATP tour, the year-end final is usually won by the player (Federer/Djokovic), who has played very well throughout the season. While this hasn’t been the case on the WTA tour, this year may very well end on the right note.