Garbine Muguruza became the first Spanish tennis player to win the showcase WTA Finals tournament, defeating Anett Kontaveit 6:3, 7:5 in the final match. The Estonian will finish the season ranked seventh in the world and will be awarded an Order of Merit, Second Class, upon return to Estonia.
The meeting lasted an hour and 38 minutes with Muguruza taking her 10th career tournament victory.
Muguruza's serve ended up being the deciding factor as the Spaniard won 67 percent of her service points to Kontaveit's 51 percent. Muguruza won 81 of the total points to the Estonian's 63.
Kontaveit took the first game of the match, but was lost a tight first set 3:6 after the Spaniard won three consecutive games from 3:3. The second set was also a competitive one with Kontaveit opening a 5:3 lead, but Muguruza was able to climb out of the hole to realize the set and match victory at 7:5.
Muguruza is the first Spaniard to win the WTA Finals singles title in the event's history. The Spaniard has defeated Kontaveit twice during the tournament - once in the group stage and now in the final. Muguruza is set to rise to number three in the WTA singles rankings, Kontaveit will finish the season with a career-best seventh ranking.
"Thank you, everybody in Estonia, who woke up at 3.30 a.m. to watch my matches. The support means so much," Kontaveit said after the match.
"This match was certainly not how I wanted it to go, but if you look at the bigger picture, I can be very proud of what I have achieved. I was the last to qualify for this tournament and I reached the final and lost a tight match," the Estonian told Delfi Sport (link in Estonian).
Kontaveit finished her season winning 29 of her last 33 matches, including a 12-match winning streak, which saw her win a tournament in Moscow, Russia and Romania. She became the first Estonian to make it to the season-end showcase tournament and also became the first Estonian to be ranked in the world top-10.
"At some point, when I won the tournament in Moscow, I spoke to my people and when I reached the top-10, they said the always knew I would do it, although I really did not believe in it," Kontaveit said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets announced on social media that Kontaveit will be awarded the Order of Merit, Second Class for her contribution to raising Estonia's profile in the world.
Incredible achievement no matter the result @AnettKontaveit Thank you so much for these emotions. is proud of you! Also I'm happy to announce that your @MFAestonia Order of Merit, Second Class, for everything you have done for Estonia, waits you to get back home. @WTAFinals pic.twitter.com/WWhxOWdXqo— Eva-Maria Liimets (@eliimets) November 18, 2021
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste