SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Caroline Wozniacki produced an almost perfect display to dismantle world number one Simona Halep 6-0 6-2 at the WTA Finals on Wednesday, the Dane recording her second dominant victory in as many matches.
Wozniacki had marked her fifth appearance at the season-ending tournament with a 6-2 6-0 victory over Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina on Monday and Romania’s Halep appeared equally as powerless against the 27-year-old former number one.
The Dane is now virtually assured of a semi-finals berth after losing just four games in two matches, while Halep lives to fight another day after her opening straight sets victory over Caroline Garcia gives her a 1-1 record in the Red Group.
Wozniacki has been the form player on the WTA Tour this season, winning 58 matches, reaching seven finals and claiming one tournament victory in Tokyo last month, and she has retained that consistency in both her wins in Singapore.
The rankings show Halep as the world leader and Wozniacki in sixth but the Romanian was utterly outclassed in the opener as her opponent raced through it in 23 minutes without dropping a game, on the back of a 94 percent first serve success rate.
“I think I played really well today and stayed aggressive throughout. I didn’t expect to be leading by that much in the first set and I started to think ‘what’s happening? Am I really playing that well?’,” Wozniacki said in a courtside interview.
Halep had been as much a spectator as the stunned crowd packed into the Singapore Indoor Stadium and although she tried to rouse herself after getting to 30-30 in the first game of the second set, Wozniacki held firm for a 1-0 lead.
The Dane, who was painting the corners on both her backhand and forehand sides, had won 17 games in a row across her last two matches before Halep finally got on the scoreboard after 34 minutes when she held to love.
The respite was fleeting, however, as Wozniacki continued to punish Halep’s scrappy forehand to break once more for a 3-1 lead and an ace snuffed out the only break point the Dane would face all match as she moved within two games of victory.
Another poor forehand error handed Wozniacki a match point after a little more than an hour, which she duly converted with a forehand winner to cap an incredible display.
“I just stayed positive, took the ball early and went for my shots,” the Dane added. “It’s a great court for me as I was putting spin on the ball to get in position for my shots and wait for the right opportunities to hit my winners.”
Frenchwoman Garcia and Svitolina were next on court with both debutants searching for a first win at the tournament after straight-set losses in their openers.
Editing by Christian Radnedge