Our event of the day is Day 6 of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore. Naomi Osaka will face off with Kiki Bertens, with Angelique Kerber and Sloane Stephens following them on Centre Court. Bertens lost her second match to Sloane Stephens on Wednesday as the Dutch star was defeated in three sets. In a tightly contested encounter, Bertens was ultimately let down by her own service game, particularly in the final set. Her current tournament record stands at 1-1, and she can claim a prized spot in the semi-finals by winning this match. The Dutchwoman, however, has been plagued by her own lacklustre service game all tournament, losing 13 service games in just 2 matches. If she wishes to go anywhere in this competition, this record simply has to improve. Standing firmly in her way is Naomi Osaka. Osaka has lost both her round-robin matches, but victory, combined with the day’s other result going her way, would still allow her to progress. The Japanese superstar lost to Angelique Kerber in her last match. It was another closely fought contest, but Kerber made it count when it mattered most to defeat Osaka in a three-set match. Despite impressive performances, Osaka remains without a win in the tournament. In a sport which is famously psychological, it is perhaps the mental pressure which has let her down so far, as she has lost crucial points in the final set of both her matches.
In the day’s other fixture, Angelique Kerber meets Sloane Stephens to determine who will advance to the next round. Entering the game off the back of a three-set victory over Naomi Osaka that took all of 32 games to decide, Kerber’s confidence is sure to be high. But so is her opponent’s. Yesterday, Sloane Stephens took 3 sets to defeat Kiki Bertens in a similarly drawn out encounter. Both players will feel that there are areas in which they need to improve. Kerber, for instance, has made 54 unforced errors in her last two matches. For her part, Stephens has won just 48% of her total service points so far in the tournament. Both will be demanding better from themselves ahead of this mouth-watering clash. It should be a great day of tennis in Singapore with semi-final spots on the line.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to Baseball. The 2018 World Series is back, with the LA Dodgers playing host to the Boston Red Sox for the first time in the best-of-seven clash. The Dodgers will be grateful for the home advantage -- they come into today’s game trailing the Red Sox by a 2-0 margin. Elsewhere in the world of sport, the NBA sees the New York Knicks take on the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden. There are also several NHL matches today, including the Red Wings versus the Jets at the Little Caesar’s Arena. Meanwhile, in football, Real Valladolid host Espanyol in La Liga, and St Etienne go to the Stade des Costières to take on Nimes in Ligue 1. In Golf, the WGC-HSBC Champions Day 2 gets underway at Shanghai’s Sheshan Golf Club, as part of the PGA and European Tour. In cricket, it is the second T20 International between Pakistan and Australia at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
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