Garbiñe Muguruza beats Kontaveit to win 10th career title at WTA Finals
Garbie Muguruza’s 10th career WTA singles victory proved to be a major accomplishment: she won the Akron WTA Finals for the first time. On Wednesday night in front of an enthusiastic audience in Guadalajara, the No. 6 seed from Spain overcame No. 8 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, 6-3, 7-5, to win her third and greatest championship of the year. Muguruza rallied from a break behind in the second set to win the match’s final four games.
Muguruza is the first Spaniard to ever win the WTA Finals singles championship. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, a former World No. 1 who finished second to Stefanie Graf in the WTA Finals singles title match in 1993, was the only other Spanish player to reach the WTA Finals singles championship match.
Muguruza, the former World No. 1, is the only player to beat Kontaveit in the last month, and she did so twice this week. In the round-robin stage of the tournament, Muguruza stopped the Estonian’s 12-match winning streak, and he repeated the feat in the singles final. Round-robin opponents will meet in the final for the seventh time in WTA Finals history.
It was a suitable final for the season’s final tour-level match, as Kontaveit and Muguruza have 39 and 35 hard-court victories, respectively. Muguruza, on the other hand, was able to win in an hour and 38 minutes this time, improving to 4-2 over Kontaveit overall.
Muguruza’s triumph extends his dominance in Mexico. Throughout her career, Muguruza has had a dominant 14-2 win-loss record in Mexico. Muguruza won back-to-back victories in Monterrey in 2018 and 2019.
Muguruza, a two-time Grand Slam champion, is expected to ascend to World No. 3 in the season-ending rankings. Muguruza will have her best year-end rating since she was ranked No. 2 in the world at the conclusion of 2017. Kontaveit is expected to reach a new career-high rating of World No. 7 as a result of her efforts.
Muguruza won two close sets, owing in part to his superior ability to return second serves. Kontaveit earned only 38% of Muguruza’s second-service points, while Muguruza won over 60% of the points of the Estonian’s second delivery.
Muguruza and Kontaveit were fairly similarly matched in terms of victories during the match, with Muguruza taking 16 and Kontaveit taking 15. Muguruza, on the other hand, had a cleaner match overall, making 14 fewer unforced errors than Kontaveit.
Key moments: In a tense opening set, Kontaveit dropped a backhand into the net to give Muguruza a 4-3 lead. Muguruza cruised through the first frame, sweeping the final four games to take a one-set lead with a brilliant lob winner.
Kontaveit, on the other hand, took an early lead in the second set as Muguruza’s errors, particularly on the forehand side, began to pile up. A winger’s wide blunder gave Kontaveit a break, and the Estonian used her forceful play to consolidate and build a 5-3 advantage.
When Kontaveit served for the set, Muguruza leveled the score at 5-5 with a forehand winner down the line on the breakpoint. From then, Muguruza dominated, winning the final four games for the second time in a straight. Muguruza broke Kontaveit at love to clinch the match and claim the year-end title.