History for Spain! Garbine Muguruza claims WTA Finals title in Guadalajara
Garbine Muguruza claimed her biggest title since 2017, defeating Anett Kontaveit to become Spain’s first singles champion at the WTA’s season-ending championships.
- What happened: Garbine Muguruza defeated Anett Kontaveit for the WTA Finals singles title, 6-3, 7-5.
- Why it matters: Muguruza becomes the first Spaniard to ever claim the singles title at the WTA Finals.
- You will also learn: Muguruza has now won 10 titles in her career, and finishes with three in 2021.
When Garbine Muguruza first learned that the WTA Finals may be hosted in Latin America this summer at the US Open, the 28-year-old says her eyes lit up: “I was like oh my God I have to make it,” she told the crowd on Wednesday after claiming the WTA Finals title with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Anett Kontaveit.
Muguruza didn’t just make it. She came, she saw and she conquered the field, owning the moment and soaking up the Guadalajara vibe that she coveted as she earned her biggest title since she won her second Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2017.
Call it “Muguruza magic.”
The Spaniard was inspired from first ball to last at these WTA Finals, and even as she needed time to make sense of the difficult playing conditions, and fell in her first match of round robin play in a third-set tiebreak to Karolina Pliskova, Muguruza continued to improve, set by set and match by match until she took her place at the podium and held the trophy aloft as the first Spanish player to ever win the WTA Finals singles title.
All week Muguruza has talked about the dreamy scenario that she found herself in while in Guadalajara. She told reporters after her semi-final victory over Paula Badosa that having the tournament in Latin America was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
“It’s a cocktail for me that’s super motivating,” Muguruza said.
“Every time I came here to Mexico, I always feel very welcome, very happy. The environment just clicks with me. Having a Masters played this year, it was like, ‘Okay, Garbine, this is your opportunity. You got to give it all no matter you win or lose. You have to get out of here and feel like, Man, I gave all my energy.’ Yeah, I think I’m doing that.”
A perfect moonball
Muguruza seemed to have the edge in play throughout the contest, but Kontaveit was never far and always pushing. The Spaniard had to be opportunistic and make the most of her opportunities during the match and she did that extremely well.
After a trade of breaks Muguruza notched the critical first-set break in the seventh game to lead 4-3. She then hammered one of her two aces to hold for 5-3 and finished the set with a dazzling winner, sending a high-arcing lob over Kontaveit’s head for a clean winner to claim the opener in style.
The second set was also a struggle. Muguruza was rolling through service games and pressing on return, but Kontaveit, playing in her biggest career final and bidding to become Estonia’s first champion at the WTA Finals, kept scratching and clawing to stay close. Eventually Kontaveit was rewarded and the 25-year-old moved ahead by a break, 5-3.
But Muguruza never stopped believing. The Spaniard recovered the break back by lasering a forehand winner for 5-all and she finished by claiming 16 of the final 20 points of the contest.
After closing out the match she dropped to her back in a state of pure joy, having locked up one of the most meaningful titles of her career.