WTA Finals: Caroline Wozniacki gets her title defence back on track with win over Petra Kvitova

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Caroline Wozniacki got her title defence back on track at the WTA Finals in Singapore as she posted a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 victory over 2011 champion Petra Kvitova on Tuesday.

Wozniacki, who lost her opener to Karolina Pliskova on day one of the tournament on Sunday, overcame a left knee problem that bothered her in the second set against Kvitova to claim a sixth win in 14 clashes versus the Czech world No. 5.

The Dane’s triumph improves her chances of qualifying to the semi-finals, and left Kvitova hanging in the balance.

Kvitova is the only player with a positive head-to-head record against all of her fellow group members but it amounted to little so far this week, as she suffered defeats in both her meetings with Svitolina and Wozniacki. The Czech has now lost five of her last six matches on tour.

In her showdown with Wozniacki on Tuesday, it was the former world No. 1 who drew first blood. Wozniacki converted her first break point of the tournament on her 12th opportunity. She was 0/10 in her opening match against Pliskova and missed one earlier in the first set against Kvitova. But the Australian Open champion found the winner to break in the eighth game and lead 5-3.

Kvitova got her hands on a break point the very next game, thanks to some punishing backhands, and she got the break back on a long ball from her opponent. They were soon on level terms at 5-all.

Wozniacki staved off Kvitova’s assault in the following game to complete a gutsy service hold. Kvitova’s error count kept moving in the wrong direction and she quickly found herself facing set points in game 12. Wozniacki converted on her second of the game, and third of the set to take a commanding lead over the Czech lefty.

The second set began with three consecutive breaks before Kvitova finally consolidated for a 3-1 lead. Wozniacki called the trainer and received treatment on her left knee. Following a six-minute interruption, Wozniacki returned to the court and won the next two games to even up the set to 3-all.

A fifth service break of the set came in the next game as Kvitova once again took the initiative. Wozniacki saved two set points but Kvitova closed the deal on her third opportunity, slicing her way to a hold and forcing a decider.

Wozniacki made the first move in the final set and held for 2-0. In uncharacteristic fashion, Kvitova threw her racquet in frustration in the next game as she attempted to hold serve. The two-time Wimbledon champion looked spent and her opponent capitalised on that and was soon up a double-break and serving at 4-1.

She took the next two games to secure the win leaving Kvitova on the edge of elimination.

A win for Pliskova against Svitolina in the second match of the evening would end Kvitova’s chances of advancing to the semis.

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