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“It was amazing. The crowd helped me so much during the second set to come back”, Garbine Muguruza strives to keep semifinal hopes alive at the WTA Finals 2021

Garbińe Muguruza came back from a set down to defeat Barbora Krejcikova at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara. Both women still have a chance to advance to the semifinals.

Garbine Muguruza

No.5 seed, Garbiñe Muguruza kept her hopes alive of advancing out of the group stage Friday night with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over No.2 seed, Barbora Krejcikova at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara. The victory moves Muguruza to 1-1 in the Teotihuacán group, while Krejcikova drops to 0-2.

Muguruza and Krejcikova, who both lost their opening matches, came into the duel under pressure. It was a must-win scenario for Muguruza, who would have been eliminated from contention with a loss. But with her three-set win, both she and Krejcikova, along with No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova, have a chance to reach the semifinals based on Sunday’s final round robin matches.

“Well that was a very tough match. It was amazing. The crowd helped me so much during the second set to come back. I didn’t start the match very well, so in the second set I had to push myself and fight with whatever tennis I had today, and I was playing so much better in the third set”, Muguruza said in her on-court interview.

There was a clear improvement from Muguruza throughout the match. Her game went away in the first set, producing 2 winners to 18 unforced errors, but once that set was out of the way, things shifted as the Spaniard was almost even the rest of the match.

Garbine Muguruza: “I tell myself I’m in Mexico. I love it here. I’m going to give everything I have left on every single match”

Garbine Muguruza

In their fourth meeting of the season, Muguruza snapped a two-match losing streak against Krejcikova, who won in Cincinnati and the US Open. The No. 5-ranked Muguruza, who’s back in the Top 5 for the first time since 2018, was asked how it feels to be back at this stage again with the best of the best.

“It was a tough journey, and sometimes there are ups and downs, but I work hard. I have an excellent team that helped me to be back in the top”, she said.

Muguruza on how she’s tapping into her fighting spirit at the WTA Finals: “I tell myself I’m in Mexico. I love it here. This is the final push. I’m going to give everything I have left on every single match. No matter if it’s ugly the score or whatever. I always have a chance because I’ve played all of them, I’ve beaten some, lost to some.

“It’s really very open. You never feel like you don’t have a chance right now. So that’s where I get my fuel. I’m very excited to keep my options alive.”

Muguruza’s win over the No.3 ranked Krejcikova was her 13th career win over a Top 5 player and her first win over someone in the Top 3 since she defeated a No. 3 ranked Simona Halep in the semifinals of the 2020 Australian Open.

Perhaps more relevantly to this week, it keeps her in contention for a spot in the semifinals of the WTA Finals. Anett Kontaveit already secured her spot in the final four with her 6-4, 6-0 win over Pliskova earlier in the day. On Sunday, Muguruza will play Kontaveit and Krejcikova will play Pliskova in the last wave of round-robin matches from the Teotihuacan Group, and one of Krejcikova, Pliskova and Muguruza will join Kontaveit in the final four, depending on the results.

Also Read: “Of course, very thrilled to be in the semifinals”, Anett Kontaveit extends her successful run into the semifinals of WTA Finals 2021