World No. 5 and 2-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza is all set to make her 4th appearance at the WTA Year-End Championships when she begins her campaign at the 2021 WTA Finals. She will be a heavy favourite for the title this year after having made a late charge with consistent results and winning the WTA-500 Chicago Classic as well.
Muguruza along with Karolina Pliskova are the only two players in this year’s WTA Finals draw that have played in the tournament earlier with the other 6 making their debut in the competition. Joining Garbine is her compatriot Paula Badosa who recently broke into the Top-10 of the rankings and also won the WTA-1000 Indian Wells Open.
Badosa along with Muguruza became the first Spanish women pair to feature in the Year-End Championships for the first time since 2000 when Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario represented Spain in the Singles draw. Speaking ahead of the tournament opener, Muguruza expressed her delight over two Spaniards in the draw and spoke about what impact could it have.
“It’s been 21 years since 2 Spaniards qualified. This is going to motivate young girls from Spain, Latin America. They can relate, hear us talk, get a more familiar feeling of tennis, not always seeing foreign players. This time they can be more close to us,” said Garbine.
Garbine Muguruza to start against Karolina Pliskova at the Finals
Muguruza will start against old nemesis Karolina Pliskova in what will be their 11th clash on the Tour. Pliskova currently leads the Spaniard 8-2 with Muguruza’s only two wins coming in the first round of the 2013 French Open and then in the semi-finals of the 2017 Cincinnati Open.
This will also be the 3rd occasion when they clash in the first round of the WTA Finals having previously duelled in 2016 and 2017 with Karolina emerging victorious on both occasions. The duo last met in the Round of 16 match at the 2019 Australian Open where Pliskova won again to increase her lead in their head-to-head.