Garbiñe Muguruza becomes first Spaniard to win WTA Finals

by Deborah Cater
Muguruza wins WTA Finals 2021

TENNIS: Muguruza, 28, defeated Anett Kontaveit in straight sets at the WTA finals. The event, held in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, rolled over from 2020.

Garbiñe Muguruza is the first Spaniard to win the WTA Finals. The 28-year-old defeated Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in straight sets (6-3, 7-5), winning the match in 99 minutes.

“This has been a very mental duel,” said Muguruza after her win. “I started the tournament feeling so so. I told myself, ‘this is going to be difficult,’ but, look, in the end, I stayed strong.”

“I don’t know what this country has that makes me so excited!” said Muguruza, as the crowd cried “Mu-gu! Mu-gu! Mu-gu!” The 28-year-old described the experience of winning in Mexico – where she also won the Monterrey Open in 2018 and 2019 – as a “magnificent feeling.” “Today I am going to drink tequila!” she added.

Route to the final

The Venezuela-born Muguruza started the event with a defeat against Karolína Plíšková. She bounced back to defeat Barbora Krejčíková in the second round, then won against Kontaveit. In the semi-finals, she was victorious against fellow Spaniard Paula Badosa.

The final also had its tense moments: just when Muguruza was at the brink of victory, Kontaveit fought back. But in the end, the Spaniard, noticeably more comfortable on court, was victorious.

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Accepting her runner-up award, Kontaveit  told Muguruza: “You’ve beaten me twice this week, that’s just too good.”

Muguruza is expected to end the year ranked number three in the world.

“The truth is I was expecting a very difficult match. A WTA final in Mexico was very emotional for me. Having it on my resumé is something I can cross off the list,” said Muguruza.

Impressive resumé

The 28-year-old already has an impressive resumé. She has two grand slam tournament titles under her belt – 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon Championships. Muguruza was also a runner-up in another two grand slams 2015 Wimbledon Championships and 2020 Australian Open. She has also held the number one ranking.

However, it has not been a smooth ride as injuries affected her performance. This year, she did not make it into any grand slam quarter-finals. Until this week, she had not picked up a trophy since 2018.

With this win, Muguruza shows she is back in the game. “I have shown myself again that I can be the best,” she said.

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