World number one Iga Swiatek beat Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-3 6-2 at the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday to inch closer toward a place in the semi-finals of the eight-player, season-ending tournament.
For Swiatek, who upped her career Grand Slam tally to three with wins at this year's French Open and US Open, the win gave her some measure of revenge on Garcia after having fallen to her in the quarter-final at the Poland Open in July.
The 21-year-old Pole broke at love for a 5-3 lead and then served out what proved to be a tight opening frame on her third set point when world number six Garcia sent a forehand long.
Swiatek then broke Garcia to start the second set and in the next game calmly roared back from 0-40 down to hold serve and never faced a break point the rest of the way in a match she sealed in style with an ace.
Garcia tried to use aggressive court positioning to throw her opponent off and was often returning serves from inside the baseline but Swiatek was prepared for the Frenchwoman's tactics.
"Yeah, she was putting a lot of pressure and putting a lot of speed on her balls so I needed to get them back and hit them even better. I was ready for that," Swiatek said during her on-court interview.
"We had really good tactics with my coach and they gave me the belief that I could dominate even though she is playing really, really well." With the win, Swiatek improved to 2-0 and can qualify later on Thursday as the group winner depending on the outcome of the night's second match between Daria Kasatkina and Coco Gauff.
If Kasatkina beats Gauff, Swiatek would advance as the group winner with one round robin match still to go while Gauff would be eliminated.
If Gauff beats Kasatkina in three sets, Swiatek would also advance but her position in the group would still need to be determined.