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Karolina Pliskova in convincing victory over sluggish Venus Williams

Karolina Pliskova in convincing victory over sluggish Venus Williams”

Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over fifth-seeded Venus Williams at the WTA Finals on Sunday.

Pliskova, playing her first match under the guidance of new coach Rennae Stubbs, showcased her heavy artillery in a much-needed confidence boost for the 25-year-old, who slipped in the rankings after being crowned world number one in July. "That's what I was trying to do today and it worked", Pliskova added. It's not that I didn't lose to them, but it's just like I like better their style of the game.' 'So it's going to be tough.

Pliskova found her range immediately for a routine hold in the first game but Williams struggled when it was her turn to serve as the Czech capitalised on some sloppy play from the American to break with a booming forehand.

Pliskova held to love for a 5-2 lead before a big forehand victor brought up three match points and, while Williams played her best tennis of the match to stave them off, a wayward backhand on the fourth gifted her opponent victory in just 74 minutes.

Pliskova rode out Williams' attempts to bring the contest under her spell and a positive approach on her opponents' second serve paid dividends as the seven-time grand slam champion chipped long to concede the first set.

Williams was on the board in game four with her most potent service game and Pliskova meekly surrendered the advantage with a double fault, only to be outdone by the 37-year-old, whose radar was well off as she lost serve to love. "Some days that's how it is". 'I think my group is more aggressive style players in the group and the other one is more defending.

Williams was making her debut in Singapore after reaching the WTA Finals for the first time since 2009, when it was played in Doha.

Williams, the only player of the eight in the WTA Finals not to win a title this year, falls to 0-1 in the group.



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