Eighth seed Anett Kontaveit and third seed Karolina Pliskova kicked off action at the 2021 Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara with round-robin victories on Wednesday.
Last-minute qualifier Anett Kontaveit opened this year’s WTA Finals with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Barbora Krejcikova in Group Teotihuacan. Kontaveit made her Top 10 debut last Monday and came to Guadalajara with a 26-2 record in her previous seven tournaments of the season, winning four titles. On Wednesday in Guadalajara, the Estonian won her 11th straight match by defeating the first woman since 2016 to qualify for both singles and doubles at the WTA Finals.
After a bit of a losing streak in the summer, Kontaveit’s results took off when she started working with coach Dmitry Tursunov at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Following a first-round loss at Cincinnati, Kontaveit won the Cleveland title and things started rolling from there.
Later on Wednesday, Karolina Pliskova defeated Garbine Muguruza 4-6 6-2 7-6(6) in a meeting of the other two players from Group Teotihuacan and the only two players who are not singles debutantes at the WTA Finals.
“The first set was not the best from me. The serve was amazing in the second set, many free points on the first serve,” said Pliskova, who advanced to the semifinals on past three appearances at the season-ending tournament. “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.”
After falling to 2-9 head-to-head against Pliskova, Muguruza said that she gave it all she could and saved many match points, so she was satisfied with her fighting spirit despite the loss.