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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday November 14, 2021

Garbine Muguruza

Garbine Muguruza rallied past Anett Kontaveit in straight sets to claim a semifinal berth at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara.

Photo Source: Getty

Garbiñe Muguruza was in big trouble on Friday night, trailing by a set to Barbora Krejcikova after having already lost her first match at the WTA Finals. But danger has been nothing but a challenge to overcome for the talented Spaniard this week in Guadalajara. Not only did World No.5 Muguruza rally to defeat Krecjikova, she continued to improve her form and marched past Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday night to book her spot in the semifinals.

Tennis Express

Muguruza, who snapped the Estonian’s 12-match winning streak, will face compatriot Paula Badosa in the semifinals on Tuesday at the AKRON WTA Finals in Mexico. The 28-year-old has not been this far at the WTA’s season finale since 2015.

Either Badosa or Muguruza will become the first Spanish woman to reach the title match at the WTA Finals since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1993.

“Today was a match that was kind of everything or nothing,” Muguruza told reporters on Sunday evening. “Starting the round-robin with a loss, it was never good. To finally get two wins and qualify was amazing. Actually today I think I played the best match out of the three. Cutting this long run from Anett, I was like, Okay, is it going to be me the one to stop her?”

Muguruza has been emboldened by the crowds at Guadalajara, and it shows in her tennis. The Spaniard owns a lifetime record of 12-2 on Mexican soil and she says the vibe just suits her perfectly.

“The Latin America environment, air, people, crowd, everything. I love it here,” Muguruza said. “I feel so home and welcome. People are very good with me. I guess that shows in my tennis, I don't know. It is very special for me. This is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to play the Finals here. I'm very, extremely motivated, I would say.”

Muguruza has tightened up her game each round in Guadalajara, and on Sunday she put forth a confident serving display to keep Kontaveit a step behind her. Muguruza won 28 of 35 first-serve point and didn’t blink under pressure, saving all three break points she faced.

“I think Garbine played a great match,” Kontaveit said. “She was very aggressive, just very on it from the first point. I think I made way too many unforced errors. I mean, I don't think I played a very good match. I just wish I could have done a better job today.”

The Estonian still clinches first place in Group Teotihuacán. She will face the winner of tomorrow’s showdown between Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals.


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