Wide Open WTA Finals Opens Wed. In Mexico; Pliskova v Muguruza
by Staff | November 9th, 2021, 11:43 pm
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The relocated WTA Finals begin Wednesday in Guadalajara, Mexico on Wednesday.

The 8-woman round-robin field features eight of the Top 10 players with only world No. 1 Ash Barty and No. 7 Ons Jabuer absent.

The players were divided into two groups of four — named after ancient cities in Mexico — with the top two emerging to the semifinal knockouts next Tuesday.

Group Chichen Itza
1. Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)
4. Maria Sakkari (GRE)
5. Iga Swiatek (POL)
7. Paula Badosa (ESP)

Group Teotihuacan
2. Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)
3. Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
6. Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP)
8. Anett Kontaveit (EST)

The 50th year-end WTA Finals opens tomorrow with two matches in singles, both from the Teotihuacan group.

The first match pits French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova against the red-hot Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian has won her last 10 matches and has four titles since the start of the summer. Kontaveit is arguably the favorite to win the Teotihuacan group and potentially the tournament.

In the evening, veterans Karolina Pliskova meets Garbine Muguruza. Pliskova and Muguruza are the only players of the eight to have played the event before. Pliskova has won eight of 10 against the Spaniard.

All four players in the Chichen Itza group are making their event debut. And with so many new faces, there will be not only a new champion but also two new finalists.

After being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, the tournament moved just for 2021 from Shenzhen to Guadalajara. It’s expected to return to China next year though 2030.

While Barty has wrapped up the No. 1 ranking (again), the No. 2 spot is still undecided.

At a high altitude, the players will have to adjust.

“You feel a bit heavier breathing,” said Pliskova. “The balls are bouncing quite high. That has been something I was struggling with a bit this week.”

Added Muguruza, “I have not experienced anything like this before, this altitude.”

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