The semi finals of the WTA Championships are finally set and the last four ladies are ready to do battle on Saturday for a place in the final.
Conspiracy theorists didn’t do too well on Friday, with Simona Halep producing the least likely of results against Ana Ivanovic and similarly Maria Sharapova landing a 2-1 win over Aga Radwanska was unexpected.
And in this most unpredictable of tournaments not many would have plumped for a 2-0 Caroline Wozniacki win over Petra Kvitova.
My luck wasn’t great either, with Radwanska, after coming all the way back from a set and 1-5 down to level against Sharapova, couldn’t finish the job, but still went through thanks to Wozniacki.
It’s the Dane that gets us underway on Saturday at around 07:30 UK time when she faces Serena Williams.
Caroline Wozniacki vs Serena Williams
Many expected Halep to roll over against Ivanovic when she lost a 5-2 lead to drop the opening set on Friday, with a 0-2 loss to the Serb equalling the end for Williams, but to her credit she won the second set.
That kept Williams in contention and will she make the most of it against a rejuvenated Wozniacki, who perhaps deserves a big title for her performances over the last three or four months of the season.
Whether she’ll get it or not is highly questionable though given her 1-9 career record against Williams and the manner of her no-show against the American in the US Open final.
Perhaps nerves will strike her again on Saturday, but it’s hardly anywhere near as big an occasion as a major final in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
More of a problem could be the day off that Williams enjoyed on Friday while her pal Wozniacki was slugging it out against Kvitova and perhaps with the threat of losing her number one ranking to Sharapova now extinct she’ll produce a great performance.
Despite her excellent recent record in this event over the last few years it’s almost always looked a struggle for Serena at this stage of the year and it could be worth siding with Wozniacki in some way in this one.
The Dane has played arguably the best tennis in Singapore so far and it seems likely that she can make this at least close enough for the over 20.5 total games to land at 1.78.
Agnieszka Radwanska vs Simona Halep
This 11:00 UK time start will be the third meeting between this pair of the 2014 season, with the score tied at 1-1 at the moment.
Aga had the victory at Indian Wells on slow outdoor hard in the spring, while Halep was a winner on quicker outdoor hard in Doha three weeks earlier.
Both were semi finals and with a place in the final again at stake it’s hard to go against Halep here.
But it may well be a tough match-up for Halep pitted against an opponent who, like herself, plays a thinking game out there and who moves well and has every shot in the book – and some that aren’t.
It’s certainly one for the purists and it could well be the match of the tournament, with plenty of guile and craft to go with the sweetly struck winners.
This should be great to watch and I’d be tempted by the 2-0 to Halep in this one, with two fairly tight sets likely.
Back over 20.5 total games in Williams/Wozniacki at 1.78