'Stunning': Tennis star's 28-year first amid WTA Finals history

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Garbiñe Muguruza (pictured left) gesturing after her victory and (pictured right) embracing Paula Badosa.
Garbiñe Muguruza (pictured left) became the first Spaniard since 1993 to reach the WTA Finals after defeating Paula Badosa (pictured right). (Getty Images)

Spanish star Garbine Muguruza has set up a WTA Finals showdown with Anett Kontaveit after becoming the first Spanish woman in the final since 1993.

Muguruza dominated fellow Spaniard Paula Badosa in their semi-final, winning 6-3 6-3 vin Guadalajara, Mexico on Tuesday.

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The 28-year-old Spaniard's serve was on point as she defeated her younger compatriot in a thrilling battle that lasted one hour and 25 minutes.

Her win marked a special moment for the former World No.1 as she is guaranteed to finish the year at World No.3.

Defeating Badosa marked Muguruza's sixth win over a Top 10 opponent this year and means she will finish year with at least 41 wins.

Muguruza, who lost in the semi-finals in 2015, is the first Spanish woman to reach the singles final since 1993, when Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario was runner-up to Steffi Graff.

Fans were thrilled for Muguruza after her journey back towards the pinnacle of women's tennis.

Muguruza sets up Kontaveit clash in WTA Finals

Estonian Kontaveit beat Greece's Maria Sakkari 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the other semi, ensuring two first-time finalists at the women's season-ending championship.

World No.8 Kontaveit lost to No.5 Muguruza in the last match of the round-robin stage, and has a 2-3 career record against the two-time major winner.

"I'm very happy with my performance. It was the best match I played here in Guadalajara," Muguruza said.

"It's the first time we encountered each other. I'm very proud of Paula, she started the year back in the rankings and made all the way to the top 10."

She opened this year's WTA Finals with a loss to third-seeded Karolina Pliskova but bounced back with victories over second-seeded Barbora Krejcikova, Kontaveit and Badosa.

Anett Kontaveit (pictured) celebrates after defeating Maria Sakkari during the 2021 WTA Finals Tournament.
Anett Kontaveit (pictured) celebrates after defeating Maria Sakkari during the 2021 WTA Finals Tournament. (Photo by ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images)

"I don't feel like a favourite, maybe on paper or for the TV, but I don't feel like it," Muguruza said. 

"I started here losing and I thought that I could be eliminated, so for me to say that I feel like a favourite for the final is complicated."

On the way to the final, Kontaveit beat Krejcikova and Pliskova before her group-stage loss to Muguruza.

She now boasts a 29-3 record at her last eight tournaments and could rise to No.6 in the rankings if she wins the title here.

Her win on Tuesday gave Kontaveit her 48th win of 2021, equaling Ons Jabeur for the most this season.

with AAP

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