Muguruza reduces Kontaveit and knocks down another barrier

Garbiñe Muguruza became a giant in Guadalajara (Mexico) to lift the WTA Finals title for the first time for Spanish women’s tennis. Manolo Orantes (1976) and Alex Corretja (1998) had conquered it in the male version. Another barrier has fallen. The 28-year-old tennis player, precisely 28 years after Arantxa Sánchez Vicario lost to Steffi Graf at Madison Square Garden of New York the only final contested by a Spanish woman, she did not fail in her big opportunity against Anett Kontaveit: 6-3 and 7-5 in 1h:38.

The 50th edition of the Women’s Masters, the first in Latin America due to circumstances of a pandemic that keeps China ‘closed’, It was for an enormous tennis player who found her point of maturity in a magical week, supported by a public that adopted her. to carry it day after day. “I don’t know what it is about Mexico that makes me excited!” she exclaimed exultantly at the foot of the court.

Muguruza, the player who amazed the world at Roland Garros 2016 and Wimbledon 2017, is back. She leaves the tournament three in the world, position that he had not occupied since July 2018, and with three titles in his bag: the 1,000 from Dubai, the 500 from Chicago and the masters tournament. No season had ever reached that number.

The tennis player born in Caracas and raised as a tennis player in Barcelona came out with the Tri shirt, the Mexican national team., ready to warm up the Zapopán Pan American Center. Her racket was already ‘on fire’. She was fired up by her great game against Paula Badosa (double 6-3) the day before. Opposite, a 25-year-old debutant player in the conclave of the best who had already overcome in the group stage, stopping a streak of 12 consecutive victories. The Estonian, pure dynamite, had won four titles in her last seven tournaments in a prodigious final sprint that took her to Mexico. But experience is a degree.

Muguruza’s aggressiveness with control, his balance, was going to prevail from the start over Kontaveit’s unbridled approach. The Spanish woman pressed and pressed. She achieved a break for 2-1 which already caused the Estonian to sit on the exchange with his face in his hands, on the verge of the pressure spigot going off. But errors in Garbiñe’s network facilitated the counterbreak of Dmitry Tursunov’s pupil. Tranquillity. It was about time. To keep pushing, shooting deep, securing the first serve (75% of firsts in), missing just enough (10 unforced errors against Kontaveit’s 22 in the sleeve) until two more breaks came.

“I came to the tournament with nothing to lose,” the Tallinn player had warned in the preview., number eight in the world and with seven victories against the top-ten this year, in kamikaze mode. But in front of him he found a player who was growing in the tournament. She overcame the initial defeat against Karolina Pliskova to overcome Barbora Krejcikova and stop Kontaveit’s cannon in all or nothing. She arrived launched.

Muguruza, before a chair in which they were Billie Jean King, Chris Evert or Martina Navratilova, he knew he could impose his stripes. Those who are in the Grand Slam winners club. He saw himself break down in the second round, but with lightning-fast returns he equalized the pulse by materializing a drive driven by a scream that came from his heart. He tried for three match points and the first time he closed it and collapsed, crying face up, on the floor. Released, she went to hug Conchita Martínez, her coach and who participated in 12 editions of the Masters without success. This is also part of you. The merit of bringing out the best version of a talent who, when he plays like this, is unstoppable.

Garbiñe, who this year has shed the irregular label, is now a teacher. And 2022 is right next door, with a crazy circuit looking for a queen. Why not her? “I have shown myself again that I can be the best,” she said with the trophy next to her. She has come back.


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