Players are practicing for the 2021 WTA Finals that will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico from November 10 to November 17. Our photographer Jimmie48 is already on site and we can see how the season’s top performers are getting ready for the prestigious event that features Top 8 singles players and doubles teams.
Top seed Aryna Sabalenka will play the year-end championships in singles for the first time. The Belarusian was in good mood during her practice session on Saturday.
Czech Karolina Pliskova, led by coach Sascha Bajin, practiced together with WTA Finals debutante Paula Badosa of Spain. This is Pliskova’s fifth straight year at the prestigious event.
Paula Badosa is accompanied by coach Jorge Garcia. The 23-year-old Badosa has enjoyed a breakout year in 2021, winning her maiden WTA title at the Serbia Ladies Open in Belgrade, then reaching the quarterfinals at the French Open, and clinching the biggest title of her career at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells last month. These achievements have propelled her to a career-high ranking of No.11 this week.
Maria Sakkari is making history as the first Greek woman who has qualified for the season-ending tournament. No wonder her smile is this wide! During her practice day, the world No.6 was wearing the Adidas Winter Club Knot Tank and Adidas Women’s Core Club 2-in-1 Short.
Garbine Muguruza has qualified for the WTA Finals in singles for the fourth time, the only player besides Pliskova with experience in the crown-jewel event. The Spaniard’s best result at the WTA Finals was on her debut in 2015 — she progressed through the round-robin stage undefeated, but then fell to eventual champion Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals.
Iga Swiatek is one of six women’s tennis players who will be making their WTA Finals singles debut in Guadalajara.
Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit is probably the happiest person on site, having qualified for the tournament with a last-minute run to the title at the Transylvania Open, “stealing” the spot from Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who later gave up on her alternate position by withdrawing from Guadalajara.
Doubles world No.1 Elise Mertens is getting ready for her doubles campaign with Hsieh Su-Wei.
The tournament’s temporary location in Guadalajara, Mexico provides very specific conditions for tennis. The city’s high altitude will make it harder for players to breath during intense rallies, on top of giving balls extra velocity and making them tricker to control.
The WTA Finals will return to Shenzhen, China in 2022.
Come on, Sascha Bajin! Really?! You do have the “guns” now. Nobody builds up that kind of muscle without any pharmaceutical help. You been taking a little Nandrolone or Stanazolol on the side (wink, wink)? I don’t know how many times over the last 20 years or so, I have seen members of players teams (men or women players’ teams) who have bulked up all of a sudden. Jez Green, Agassi and Michael Chang’s brothers, Roger Rasheed, et al, and now Bajin! None of the players ever bulk up like that, because it would ruin their game. It is just a hedonistic, egotistical thing with these guys. SHEEEESH!!!!! BTW, none of Li Na’s team ever did this (her husband, Carlos Rodriquez, physio, Alex Stober- because they are not full of themselves) and this why I liked and respected her so much.