The 2021 WTA Finals began with much fanfare in Guadalajara with the Teotihuacán group getting the action underway on Wednesday. Anett Kontaveit and Karolina Pliskova went on to win their respective round-robin matches.
In the afternoon session, Kontaveit – who was the last player to make it to the season finale – defeated Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 15 minutes. The Estonian had three fewer winners than her opponent – 17 to 20.
She also finished with significantly fewer unforced errors than the Czech – 16 to the latter’s 34. For the match, Kontaveit won 61 points to the 2021 French Open champion’s 49. After her win, Kontaveit spoke about the run she’s currently on.
“I'm definitely very thrilled to get the win, it was a very tough match. I think I managed to win a lot of points on my first serves once they actually went in. During the summer I was on a bit of a losing streak, then I started working with Dmitry (Tursunov) and was really hoping to get a few wins.
I managed to win Cleveland, then it just sort of started rolling from there. I've been believing in myself a little bit more, and the game definitely has clicked from just getting more wins and playing a lot of tennis and really feeling comfortable, enjoying playing tennis,” she said.
Kontaveit’s now on an 11-match winning streak. Overall, she’s won 27 of the 29 matches she’s recently played.
WTA Finals: Anett Kontaveit vs Karolina Pliskova
Meanwhile, in the evening session, Pliskova came through a roller-coaster encounter against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.
The Czech won 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(6) in two hours and 26 minutes. While the first two sets were each dominated by Muguruza and Pliskova respectively, the deciding set swung wildly. Pliskova drew first blood as she secured a couple of match points on Muguruza’s serve in the 10th game.
But Muguruza went to save both and in the immediately following game, had two break points to try and serve out the set. This time around, it was Pliskova’s turn to save them. In the tie-break, Pliskova had her third match point but Muguruza erased that swiftly.
A couple of points later, the 2021 Wimbledon finalist had her fourth match point and was able to convert it after Muguruza shanked her forehand. Karolina Pliskova will face Anett Kontaveit in the next round-robin match of the Teotihuacán Group at the WTA Finals. Garbine Muguruza will meet Barbora Krejcikova.