Singapore: Petra Kvitova beat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-2 at the WTA Finals on Thursday, further eroding the Russian player's hopes of claiming the year-end No. 1 ranking.
Sharapova, who needs to win the title to have a chance of overtaking Serena Williams for top spot, fell to a 0-2 record while Kvitova is 1-1 in the White Group round-robin stage.
In order for Sharapova to progress to the semifinals, she will need to win her last match against Agnieszka Radwanska and rely on Caroline Wozniacki beating Kvitova while also having set and game percentage turn in her favor.
Sharapova, who lost the Wimbledon final to Kvitova in 2011, had beaten the Czech left-hander in their past five meetings and started brightly by winning the opening two games. But Kvitova took over from there, winning 11 of the next 12 games.
Earlier Wozniacki moved closer to a place in the semifinals by beating Radwanska 7-5, 6-3 for her second win in the group stage.
The first set, which began with four service breaks in five games, lasted 67 minutes and contained some long games and lengthy rallies that were punctuated by superb shot-making.
Radwanska may have ended up the loser, but played a couple of extraordinary volley winners: one picked up at her shoelaces and lifted diagonally over the net and another leaping effort played with her back to the net.
"It was a couple of amazing rallies and a couple of amazing shots as well," said Radwanska, who has a win and a loss so far. "I just needed some more good serves as well in that match."
Wozniacki was able to smile after Radwanska's trick shots.
"I'm like, `Okay, you know what, that's just too good,"' Wozniacki said. "You can either get frustrated or laugh -- it's better to laugh."
Williams will be hoping to shake off a 6-0, 6-2 loss to Simona Halep in her previous match when she takes on Eugenie Bouchard in a night match later Thursday.