Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Muguruza conquers Kontaveit for title in WTA Finals

Garbiñe Muguruza excelled in the now-defunct Bank
of the West Classic at Stanford. 2017 photo by Mal Taam
   No. 6 seed Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain defeated No. 8 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-3, 7-5 tonight to win the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico.
   Muguruza, a two-time Grand Slam singles champion, was the first Spaniard to reach the title match since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario lost to Steffi Graf in 1993.
   Not only did Muguruza feel at home in Mexico, the 5,138-foot (1,566-meter) altitude accentuated the 6-foot (1.82-meter) veteran's powerful game.
   Muguruza won the Stanford doubles title in 2014 with just-retired Carla Suarez Navarro and reached the singles semifinals in the last year of the tournament in 2017 before it moved to San Jose.
   Kontaveit was seeking her third consecutive title. She won four championships in 10 weeks after hiring coach Dmitry Tursunov.
   In the doubles final, No. 1 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic beat No. 3 seeds Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei and Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-3, 6-4.
   ATP Finals — No. 8 seed Casper Ruud of Norway outlasted alternate Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Turin, Italy.
   Ruud, a semifinalist in the 2018 Fairfield (Calif.) Challenger, improved to 1-1 in round-robin play. Norrie, who won Tiburon and Stockton back-to-back in 2017 Northern California Challengers, replaced Stefanos Tsitsipas (elbow injury).
   Ruud is scheduled to play No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev (1-1) of Russia on Thursday for a semifinal spot. Norrie cannot advance.
   Meanwhile, No. 2 doubles seeds Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain saved two match points in a 6-7 (7), 6-0 [13-11] victory over No. 3 seeds and 2019 champions Pierre Hugues-Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France.
   Ram and Salisbury, who won the U.S. Open doubles title last month, moved to 2-0 but are not guaranteed to reach the semis.
   Ram took the doubles crown in San Jose on the ATP Tour in 2011 with former Stanford star Scott Lipsky. Salisbury captured the 2017 Stockton Challenger with Brydan Klein. 

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