The other match between No. 4 seed Karolina Pliskova and Roland Garros champion Garbiñe Muguruza was also a tight one.
Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova said she did what she had to do to beat Agnieszka Radwańska in the WTA finals in Singapore: she gave herself a haircut.
Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russian Federation makes a backhand return to Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their singles match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016.
"Well, of course it's very disappointing, especially that I had chances and just let them slip away", the 27-year-old told reporters.
"I was trying to improve during the match more and more, so I did it".
The world no. 5 Karolina Pliskova outlasted Spain's Garbine Muguruza (5) with a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-5 victory in her round-robin opener. Radwanska hopes to make it out of the round robin stages of the WTA Finals for the third straight try.
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Muguruza's 0-2 standing eliminates the Spaniard from semifinal contention.
After only arriving for the finals a day after qualifying in Moscow, Kuznetsova was understandably sluggish early on and Radwanska capitalized, breaking to 15 to open up a 3-1 lead. Fatigue may be an issue for Pliskova at this point considering she's played 15 sets in her last five matches. In the losing effort, Pliskova won 52 percent of her first serve points and 55 percent of her second serve points. "It doesn't matter if I play like crap and I'm sore, I will just be there". "I really wanted to show my best tennis here and I'm happy that everything worked well". "I'm just getting older and older and still glad I can qualify for another year here".
With her Kremlin Cup win veteran Kuznetsova, 31, leapfrogged Johanna Konta of Great Britain to take the last spot in next week's WTA finals.
"I sensed I had possibilities but that was all", said Kuznetsova, who beat defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska in a tough three-setter on Monday.
Sitting on the sidelines, Kuznetsova grabbed the scissors and hacked furiously at her own thick plait, wincing as she chopped off a chunk of her own hair. Her qualification depends on the outcome of the Muguruza-Radwanska match and the final round of group matches on Friday.