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The first of its kind in many years. Let’s break the Christmas streak in America. “End-of-season matchup favors odds”

The first of its kind in many years.  Let's break the Christmas streak in America.  "End-of-season matchup favors odds"

On Tuesday evening, Iga Switek will begin the season-ending tournament at the Individual WTA Finals. This is a match that has ended in unexpected success in recent years.

The Polish tennis player dominated the season this year. She broke the 10,000-point barrier and has twice as many points as Jabur this year, finishing second in the WTA Races rankings. She won almost half of the matches she competed in – such dominance hasn’t been seen in women’s tennis for many years. Not even Serena Williams entered a WTA final with more than 10,000 points in the race rankings in the middle of the previous decade.

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Unexpected winners

End of season competition favors odds. Agnieszka Radwanska’s biggest win in 2015 was a WTA Finals win. It was similar to the victories of Dominika Cibulkova, Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina. All these tennis players had in common that they were at the top of the world, but they could not translate this into Grand Slam victories. From this group, only Wozniacki won a Grand Slam at a later stage in her career. Even the last match in Guadalajara was won by Garbine Muguruza who was not in the front row before it started. The only tennis player to enter the season-based leaderboard in recent years and win a final is Ashley Pardy in 2019. Reflecting the scale of Świątek’s achievements this season, the Australian amassed 6,476 points.

However, for a long time, there was no such clear preference before the competition. While one player stood out during the season, it wasn’t at this year’s level. You can easily put 3-4 tennis players in a row and another one wins the match. Of course, this is made easier by design, because you can lose a match or two like Agnieszka Radwanska and finally lift the trophy for victory anyway.

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Location issues

The players had to wait a long time for a place to meet at the end of the season. That’s because even before the outbreak of the pandemic, the WTA signed a long-term deal to host the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China. They were only able to play the tournament in 2019, and, as planned at that time, in a temporary hall, only then to move everything to a new, impressive facility for several years. However, the Covid-19 pandemic canceled the event in 2020, although, for example, the ATP managed to organize the ATP Finals in London, which was played once in Guadalajara last season.

The deal with the Chinese involved a huge amount. Party earned four million dollars for the win, more than his Masters competitor. However, lavish rewards are unacceptable elsewhere where money is more rationally calculated. After all, the event takes place in Texas and, like Mexico, is only possible once. The tournament has become homeless, unable to maintain its pre-pandemic financial status, but the WTA cannot abandon it. It would be an image disaster.

An obvious choice

Sportovo moved to the Svitek team, where he would be the favourite. In fact, there is no such set where it could be otherwise. She will play against Caroline Garcia, Coco Goff and Daria Kasadkin. He may have more problems with the premiership, which has played very well in the second part of the season and won since Christmas, during the tournament in Warsaw. But now the situation will be different. The fight will be very slow and will be played on hard courts and not on clay courts. If anyone was going to cause serious trouble, it was the French. Goff and Kasatkina have yet to break a single set on hard courts in Poland. It was especially painful for the young American who was brutally beaten. Against Kasadkin, Svitek’s game should be an asset. The Russian woman does not have many arguments to threaten such an opponent, she must count the weakest day of the leader of the ranking and present herself fully.

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A possible Christmas win at Texas would be the perfect summary of a very successful season. She had time to relax and prepare, and she didn’t have to chase points and get a ticket to America at the last minute. She can throw her full force into the tournament because she has already announced that she will not compete in the Billie Jean King Cup, the national team tournament that starts after the WTA Finals. He has also played well in the US this season. Therefore, the WTA Finals this season have all the advantages to be decided logically. Hence her success.

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