Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova has beaten Garbine Muguruza in her opening match while Anett Kontaveit extended her hot streak to 11 consecutive victories with a win over second-seeded Barbora Krejcikova.

Pliskova is playing the WTA Finals for the fifth time, having reached the semifinals in 2018 and 2019.
Pliskova is playing the WTA Finals for the fifth time, having reached the semifinals in 2018 and 2019. (Reuters)

Karolina Pliskova has beat Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6) in her opening match at the WTA Finals.

In a contest between two former No 1-ranked players, the third-seeded Pliskova struggled, adjusting to the nearly 1,524 metre altitude of Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city, on Wednesday.

“The first set was not the best from me. The serve was amazing in the second set, many free points on the first serve," Pliskova said. “Then it was a fighting third set. I thought I just had too many chances, didn’t make it really, but happy it went my way in the end.”

Pliskova is playing the WTA Finals for the fifth time, having reached the semifinals in 2018 and '19. The 2020 tournament was cancelled.

She didn't win any titles in 2021 but kept a high ranking by reaching the finals at Wimbledon and Montreal, and the semifinals at Cincinnati.

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'Very very tough match'

Pliskova now has a 9-2 record against former Wimbledon and French Open champion Muguruza, who won the Chicago and Dubai titles this year and is making her fourth appearance at the season-ending event.

“That was a very tough match for both of us. It was a one-point difference – I saved many match points and is a tough loss I fought as hard as I could,” Muguruza said. “I´m happy with my fighting spirit even though I lost.”

Muguruza dropped serve before winning four straight games to take a 4-2 lead and eventually clinched the first set in 38 minutes.

Pliskova settled down in the second and got service breaks in the second and eighth games to level the match.

The third set lasted more than an hour, with Muguruza saving three match points to force a tiebreaker, and another in the tiebreaker before Pliskova sealed the win.

Konaveit extends winning streak

Earlier, Anett Kontaveit extended her hot streak to 11 consecutive victories with a 6-3, 6-4 win over second-seeded Barbora Krejcikova.

Kontaveit has won 27 of her last 29 matches, which include her title run at Ostrava where she beat Paula Badosa and Maria Sakkari, both of whom are competing here.

“I’ve been in sort of top 30 for a lot of years,” Kontaveit said. “During the summer I was on a bit of a losing streak, then I started working with Dmitry (Tursunov) and was really hoping to get a few wins. I managed to win Cleveland, then it just sort of started rolling from there”.

Tursunov a former world No 20, started working with Kontaveit at the Cincinnati Masters, where the 25-year-old Estonian lost in the first round. Since then, Kontaveit has soared from No 30 into the top 10. 

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies