In a clash of the only two former participants at the WTA Finals, Karolina Pliskova edged Garbine Muguruza in a nailbiter on opening day 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(6).
“If I just lose this match tonight, I think I’m gone because it was big, having couple match points, breakpoints there, I was so close to making it even before the tiebreak. Then, of course, I was quite close to also losing it,” said Pliskova.
Pliskova, who improved to 9-2 against the Spaniard, had two match points on Muguruza’s serve at 4-5 in the third, then made her own save serving 5-all, 15-40.
Muguruza had the match on her racquet serving 5-4 in the breaker.
“Well, that was a very tough match for both of us,” said Muguruza. “I think it was actually one point the difference because we reached the tiebreak and I saved many match points. Man, that was a painful loss definitely.
“I fought as hard as I could. At the end it was just one point difference. I’m actually proud of the match I played due to the circumstances. I loved the crowd. Even though I suffered during this match, I also felt very energized and motivated to play in Mexico.”
In the day match, Anett Kontaveit continued her torrid run upping her win streak to 11 after topping French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-4. Kontaveit, who was the last player to get into the year-end field, has won 27 of her last 29 matches.
“I’m definitely very thrilled to get the win, it was a very tough match,” Kontaveit told the press after her win. “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 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.”
On Thursday, day 2 of the round robin features matches from the Chichen Itza Group.
Iga Swiatek tries to earn her first win over Maria Sakkari in their third meeting. The Greek ended Swiatek’s French run and also beat her in Ostrava.
Tournament favorite Aryna Sabalenka opens play against Paulo Badosa. The Spaniard took down Sabalenka in a thriller in their only meeting in Cincinnati earlier this year.
THURSDAY WTA FINALS SCHEDULE
Starting at 2pm
 Maria SAKKARI (GRE) vs  Iga SWIATEK (POL)
 HSIEH Su-Wei (TPE) / Elise MERTENS (BEL) vs  Alexa GUARACHI (CHI) / Desirae KRAWCZYK (USA)
Not before 7.30pm
 Aryna SABALENKA (BLR) vs  Paula BADOSA (ESP)
 Barbora KREJCIKOVA (CZE) / Katerina SINIAKOVA (CZE) vs  Sharon FICHMAN (CAN) / Giuliana OLMOS (MEX)
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