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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday October 2, 2021

 
Garbine Muguruza

Garbine Muguruza and Ons Jabeur will clash in the Chicago final on Sunday.

Photo Source: Getty

Ons Jabeur and Garbiñe Muguruza will battle for the Chicago title and a leg up in the WTA’s Race to Guadalajara on Sunday at the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic.

Tennis Express

Muguruza, who advanced when Marketa Vondrousova pulled out with stomach illness on Saturday, and Jabeur, who got through when Elena Rybakina pulled out due to injury while trailing by a set, 6-4, 3-2, RET, are currently No.7 and No.9 respectively in the WTA’s race, with 291 points separating them.

No matter who takes the final, both players have strengthened their positions in the race, but next week’s action in Indian Wells will offer more points for both.

Muguruza and Jabeur have split their previous two meetings with Jabeur winning their last head-to-head battle in three sets in the third round at Wimbledon this summer.

Muguruza is bidding to reach the WTA Finals for the fourth time in her career, and the first time since 2017. Jabeur, who leads the WTA with 44 wins on the season, is bidding for her first appearance at the WTA Finals.

Muguruza has yet to drop a set this week in Chicago, while also picking up walkovers in the round of 16 (Azarenka) and the semis (Vondrousova).

Jabeur has dropped one set, to Jessica Pegula in the round of 16, and earned her fifth Top-10 win of the season in the quarterfinals against top-seeded Elina Svitolina.


“Even if you are eight, you are not sure to qualify,” Jabeur said earlier this week when asked about qualifying for Guadalajara. “It's very tough but I think I made my peace with it. I'm going to give it all and if it comes I'm happy with it and if not, maybe it's a sign that I need time to take off the court and to take out of my body to be ready for next year."

Jabeur believes that Indian Wells will be key, no matter what happens on Sunday in Chicago, with another 1000 points on offer.

“So many players are hungry to win. I think, what I told them, is that everything is going to be played at Indian Wells. The big game is going to be there, whoever is going to play well, maybe they are going to qualify in Guadalajara."

Muguruza, who is 36-14 on the season with one title, will bid for her 9th career title on Sunday, while Jabeur will bid for her third.

 

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