Number seven seed Flavia Pennetta secured her first victory at the WTA Finals when she beat the more fancied Agnieszka Radwanska 7-6 (5) 6-4 on Tuesday.
The Italian came horribly unstuck during her first Red Group fixture against Simona Halep earlier in the campaign. However, she is now back in contention for a spot in the semi-finals, while Radwanska's hopes have been significantly diminished.
There were two critical points at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Tuesday. The first was the tenth point of the first set tie-break, when Radwanska conceded her second mini-break. The second was contested in the seventh game of the second set, when Pennetta converted the break point on offer.
On both occasions, the Italian did not lose her nerve, despite having to negotiate an injury scare during that period and she ultimately played the better tennis when the situation demanded it.
With the scores at 3-3 in the second set, Pennetta had managed to secure three break points. As it so happens she needed all three of them in the end. Prior to that game, the second set had gone according to serve and it therefore seemed inconceivable that Radwanska wouldn't be able to claw her way back when she was broken.
As was expected Pennetta held the next service game, which effectively meant that the Pole had to serve to keep herself in the contest. Radwanska saved three match points, putting the ball back in Pennetta's court, so to speak, and the Italian was up to the challenge, winning her final service game to love.
Pennetta was the better player and she was the more aggressive player. Every statistic that mattered suggested that she deserved the result. The US Open champion served six aces during her match, won 74 percent of her first serve points and only encountered two break points throughout.