It’s been a week now since world number one Ashleigh Barty dethroned erstwhile champion Elina Svitolina in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3 to be this year’s WTA Finals champion.
If we just look at their head to head matchup, it would be interesting to note that Barty has actually never won against Svitolina in all their five previous matches. So coming into the final, the Ukrainian would naturally have that confidence against the Aussie. And considering Svitolina has gone unbeaten in this tournament, you would think that she could actually retain the title.
However, things did go in favor of Barty as this time she mixed it up a bit more. See. To beat good receivers, you either got to be an accurate power player or – you got to mix up your shots. Like in Barty’s case, it should not be just slices. Now since she went to the net more, so a straight sets win.
Incidentally, it would have been enthralling though if only Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu did not get injured and withdrew.
As we have said, it would have been a rematch between Osaka and Andreescu in the final of this year’s WTA Finals had they stayed healthy. Looking at our predictions, we picked the top four seeds advancing to the semifinals – and they were as you know, Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu.
We were actually right with Barty and Pliskova while incidentally, our other two choices got injured. So, fate again had something to do with these developments as instead of seeds three and four advancing, it were seeds seven and eight that made the semifinals. Synchronicity. Thus, notice that the Barty versus Pliskova match looked more like the final than the actual final between Barty and Svitolina?
Because as per our prediction, Svitolina and Belinda Bencic only took the places of the injured Osaka and Andreescu. Do you follow?
Still, many say women’s tennis is hard to predict as ranking and head to head records do not matter. But actually, in a tournament where only eight players play, it’s a matter of reading between the lines.
Notice that Andreescu started to lose – first, against Osaka at the China Open then Simona Halep here in the WTA Finals, both of which were winnable – when she did not wear her lucky charm? Yes, the “hair band” thing on her right bicep.
Just like visualization, sometimes superstitions count.