Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Muguruza, Kontaveit to meet for title in WTA Finals

Garbiñe Muguruza won doubles title in the 2014 Bank of the West Classic
at Stanford and reached the singles semifinals in the last year of the tournament
in 2017 before it moved to San Jose. 2017 photo by Mal Taam
   In the first all-Spanish semifinal in WTA Finals history, No. 6 seed Garbiñe Muguruza dispatched No. 7 seed Paula Badosa 6-3, 6-3 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
   The 6-foot (1.82-meter) Muguruza, a two-time Grand Slam singles champion, became the first Spaniard to reach the title match since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario lost to Steffi Graf in 1993.
   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.
   Muguruza is scheduled to face No. 8 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. PST (Tennis Channel). Kontaveit, playing in the WTA Finals for the first time this year, beat No. 4 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 for her 13th victory in her last 14 matches.
   Muguruza leads the head-to-head series 3-2. Kontaveit, who hired coach Dmitry Tursunov in August, seeks her third consecutive title.
   Sakkari advanced to the San Jose final in 2018, losing to Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania. 
   In the doubles semifinals, No. 1 seeds and reigning French Open champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic topped No. 4 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez of Stuart, Fla., and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands 3-6, 6-3 [10-6].
   No. 3 seeds and reigning Wimbledon champions Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei and Elise Mertens of Belgium routed No. 2 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan 6-2, 6-2.
   The doubles final is set for Wednesday at 3 p.m. on Tennis Channel. 
   Shibahara, 23, was born in Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area and starred at UCLA. Melichar-Martinez won the San Jose doubles title in 2019 with Kveta Peschke, who was 44 at the time.
   ATP Finals — Alternate Jannik Sinner, playing in his home country, drubbed No. 7 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 6-2, 6-2 in a round-robin match in Turin, Italy.
   Sinner, 20, will rise one notch to crack the top 10 in the year-end rankings at No. 10. He reached the second round of the 2019 Aptos (Calif.) Challenger at 17 after winning the Lexington (Ky.) Challenger the previous week.
   Also today, No. 4 doubles seeds Marcel Granollers of Spain and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina defeated No. 1 seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (4) to improve to 2-0. 
   Granollers, the singles runner-up in the 2018 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger at age 32, and Zeballos qualified for the semifinals when No. 6 seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek beat No. 8 seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau 7-6 (2), 7-5.
   College — Blue-chip recruit Emma Sun of Newbury Park in the Los Angeles region verbally committed to Stanford. Sun is ranked No. 14 in the class of 2022 by tennisrecruiting.net.

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