Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova defeated reigning US Open champion Flavia Pennetta 7-5, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals of the WTA Finals Singapore. The win means Sharapova has a perfect 3-0 record in the Red Group. The defeat means Pennetta is no longer in contention. Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska booked the second semifinal slot.
Pennetta needed to win a set in order to advance and her determination showed early on in the match when she broke in the first game of the match and held a 4-2 lead. However, Sharapova elevated her level to win the next five out of six games for a first set lead 7-5.
The second set was a much easier affair for the Russian to finish it in the next 34 minutes.
“I’ve lost the last couple of times against Flavia. I know what a tough competitor and opponent she is. I just wanted to get a little bit of revenge before she goes out of the game!” Sharapova revealed.
“I just heard this was her last match. It’s really sad to see such a great champion go. She’s had an incredible career, and I was so happy she got the Grand Slam at the US Open. I was smiling for her.”
For Pennetta, she was just grateful to have qualified for the season-ending championships for the first time (in singles).
“I’m happy to have had the chance to play this tournament,” the Italian said. “I think to have my last match against Maria – it was amazing to play such a good champion. And it was also a good way to say goodbye, because when you lose against such a good player, there aren’t too many things to say.”
Sharapova will face the number 2-ranked player in the White Group while Radwanska will face the top player in the White Group.