Pliskova beats Williams for 1st win at WTA Finals
Karolina Pliskova, of Czech Republic, reacts after defeating Zhang Shuai, of China, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason Decrow)
By Sandra Harwitt, Associated Press
SINGAPORE (AP) — Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over fifth-seeded Venus Williams at the WTA Finals on Sunday.
"I felt really good," Pliskova said. "I think everything was fine with my game today. I think I was just a little bit better, even from the baseline, even on my service games, so there was no need to panic with anything in my game."
In Sunday's other match, second-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over seventh-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.
Pliskova raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set, but Williams regained her composure to break back in the fifth game.
Pliskova broke the Williams serve again in the sixth and eighth games to secure the first set. Williams double-faulted to 30-40 and then sailed a backhand long on the final two points of the set.
In the second, Pliskova saved two break points in the third game, and the Czech then broke the Williams serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. She broke Williams again in the final game of the match.
"I definitely was playing better in the second set but she just seemed to have all the answers," Williams said. "Some days that's how it is. Hopefully, I will have more luck in the next ones."
Pliskova, making her second consecutive appearance in the WTA Finals, and Muguruza are now 1-0 in round-robin action in the White Group.
Williams, the only player of the eight in the WTA Finals not to win a title this year, and Ostapenko fall to 0-1 in the group.
There were 15 break points in Sunday's second match. Muguruza broke serve on five of seven chances, while Ostapenko took advantage of three of eight opportunities.
"What I learned from the past (here) is that every game counts, every set, because at the end only two are going to pass," said Muguruza, the reigning Wimbledon champion.
Ostapenko, who won her first career title at this year's French Open, is making her debut at the year-end event.