Singapore, October 22: Seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic stunned fifth-seeded defending champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-2, 6-3 in a clash between the former world No. 1s in the White Group of the WTA Finals here.
Wearing a bandage on her right calf, Pliskova held her serve throughout the 92-minute match on Sunday night to take revenge for her 2017 WTA finals defeat in the same stage, narrowing her career head-to-head deficit against Wozniacki to 6-4, reports Efe news agency.
"It's always tough, matches against Caroline," Pliskova said following the match, as quoted by the WTA's website.
"The last time we played was here, and I remember the first set was more than an hour," she added.
Sunday's match was a whole different story, as Pliskova stormed to a 5-0 lead in the first set before Wozniacki, the reigning Australian Open champion, finally got on the scoreboard. Simona Halep Maintains Top Spot in WTA Rankings.
"I think she started a little bit nervous, because it's always tough to defend a title," Pliskova explained in her post-match comments.
The Czech player's momentum continued in the second set, as she went on to seal the win on the third match point she had after Wozniacki saved the first two she faced on serve.
Earlier on Sunday, sixth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine kicked off her WTA Finals run in auspicious fashion, beating fourth seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3.
"I was playing good today, quite solid from the baseline and putting pressure on Petra today. This was the most important thing and I think the key," Svitolina said according to the WTA's website.
Svitolina earned her first win against Kvitova after six consecutive defeats based on the strength of four service breaks after 88 minutes of contest.
The WTA Finals, a season-ending event, comprises two groups of four players in a round-robin format, with the winner and runner-up of each group advancing to the semi-finals.