Sharapova falls to Kvitova as Williams bounces back

Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:02am EDT
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By Julian Linden

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova's bid to end the year ranked number one was left hanging by a thread after she suffered a second straight defeat at the WTA Finals on Thursday.

The only woman capable of leapfrogging Serena Williams for the top spot, Sharapova was beaten 6-3 6-2 by Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova at Singapore's Indoor Stadium.

Sharapova still has a slim mathematical chance of finishing number one but has to go on and win the title -- and has to rely on other results to go her way just to reach the semis.

"It's easy to sit here and say, yeah, I'm tired. I lost two matches," said Sharapova.

"But that's not the way I feel or the way that I choose to speak. I still have a match ahead of me, and I will do my best to finish it on a good note."

One day after suffering her heaviest defeat since she was a teenager, Williams was back to her best as she swatted aside Eugenie Bouchard 6-1 6-1 in her final round-robin match that included a 205 km/h ace.

The world number one was humiliated 6-0 6-2 by Romania's Simona Halep on Wednesday but can still make the semis as long as Halep, who is already assured of her place, does not lose her final group match, to Ana Ivanovic, in straight sets.

"Well, my fate really rests on me," said Williams. "If I wanted to win and be a part of the event, I should have won my match yesterday or should have done better.   Continued...

Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during their WTA Finals singles tennis match at the Singapore Indoor Stadium October 23, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su