After the first batch of round-robin matches completed in Group Teotihuacan on the first day of the Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara, Group Chichen Itza action kicked off on Thursday with Maria Sakkari and Paula Badosa recording victories in match-ups of the season-ending tournament debutantes.
Standing out in the Adidas Marimekko Tank and Skirt, Maria Sakkari defeated Iga Swiatek 6-2 6-4 to extend her 2021 and overall head-to-head record over the Pole to 3-0. The fourth-seeded Sakkari won 96.3% points on her first serve in the match that lasted one hour and 26 minutes. The Greek broke Swiatek, the youngest player in the field, in the third and seventh games of the first set, and again for a 4-3 lead in the second set.
Spain’s Paula Badosa won ten straight games to recover from a 4-2 deficit and beat top seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 6-0. The Spaniard started the year ranked 70th, while this Monday she cracked the Top 10.
Besides having a breakthrough season in her career, Badosa is also enjoying a great period in her love life. Our photographer Jimmie48 captured this wonderful moment of Paula Badosa and her boyfriend Juan Betancourt before the WTA star’s Thursday’s match.
Friday’s schedule at the Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara features the second batch of matches in Group Teotihuacan: Karolina Pliskova vs. Anett Kontaveit and Barbora Krejcikova vs. Garbine Muguruza.
This is the only time that the WTA Finals are being staged in the high-altitude Mexican city of Guadalajara. The tournament will return to Shenzhen, China, next year.