Pliskova overpowers defending champion Wozniacki in Singapore

World number eight Karolina Pliskova

Caroline Wozniacki beat Karolina Pliskova in the last four in Singapore last year, but it was a different story in their White Group opener.

Karolina Pliskova overpowered defending champion Caroline Wozniacki to seal a straight-sets victory on day one of the WTA Finals.

Wozniacki beat Pliskova in the semi-finals last year, but the seventh seed gained a measure of revenge with an impressive 6-2 6-4 win in their first meeting since that showdown in Singapore.

Pliskova, seemingly unhindered despite playing with a taped right calf, saved all 10 break points she faced and unleashed a barrage of powerful groundstrokes to join Elina Svitolina at the top of the White Group.

Wozniacki arrived at the season-ending tournament on a high after returning to form to take the China Open title, but the second seed now faces a battle to reach the semi-finals following a fourth loss in 10 meetings with Pliskova.

It all started so promisingly for Wozniacki, who had two break points in the second game following a glorious backhand winner and a wild Pliskova forehand, but the Czech dug herself out of a hole to hold.

Pliskova grasped the initiative as the errors started to mount for the Australian Open champion, an errant forehand putting her a break down at 2-1.

Another break gave the world number eight a 4-1 advantage and she wrapped up the opening set in only 32 minutes.

Wozniacki was struggling to get her forehand going, Pliskova maintaining her momentum with a break in the opening game of the second set and consolidating with a battling hold after saving three break points.

A battling Wozniacki clenched her fist when she held to reduce the deficit to 3-2, having fended off a break point as Pliskova continued to pepper her with thunderous groundstrokes.

Wozniacki hung in there as she saved two match points before holding to trail 5-4, but Pliskova was celebrating victory following a rasping ace.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Pliskova [7] bt Wozniacki [2] 6-2 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Pliskova – 22/21
Wozniacki – 20/17

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Pliskova – 4/1
Wozniacki – 3/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Pliskova- 3/10
Wozniacki – 0/10

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Pliskova – 67
Wozniacki – 69

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Pliskova – 68/64
Wozniacki – 63/43

TOTAL POINTS

Pliskova – 73
Wozniacki – 60

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