Anett Kontaveit recorded a tour-leading 48th win this season with a 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory over Maria Sakkari to set up a meeting with Garbine Muguruza in Wednesday’s final of the Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara.
After Muguruza cruised past fellow Spaniard Paula Badosa in the first semifinal on Tuesday, the eighth-seeded Kontaveit joined her in the final to book their second encounter at the season-ending tournament in Guadalajara. During the last round-robin match in Group Teotihuacan, the two-time Grand Slam champion Muguruza ended Kontaveit’s 12-match winning streak with a 6-4 6-4 victory.
In the twelfth career meeting with Sakkari, Kontaveit raced through the first set without facing a break point. Late in the second set, Sakkari finally earned her first break point — up to that moment, the Estonian had been broken just twice in Guadalajara — readily converted it and held on her fourth set point to force the third set.
The fourth-seeded Greek then proceeded to a go a break up in the decider, 3-2, but Kontaveit broke right back and won all the remaining games to triumph in just over two hours. The 25-year-old Kontaveit’s mentality shifted when she dropped serve in the fifth game of the third set and she started marching towards her third consecutive final:
The turning point in the third set when I went a break down, 3-2, just managed to tell myself that if this is the last match of the season, then I might as well enjoy it. I got some freedom from that and just started playing better and managed to turn that set around.
The 26-year-old Sakkari is very disappointed after losing this tough battle with her good friend:
I think today I was just very close to taking that chance. I just wasted it. That’s why it hurts so much. It’s not that it was just bad luck, it’s that I threw away another chance. It hurts.
(quotes via WTA Insider, photos: Jimmie48)
People seem to be ignoring the fact that due to the scheduling, Maria had played a big three set match 24 hours before, whereas Anett hadn’t played for two days. It’s very unlikely that Maria could have enough in the tank to win against Anett. Considering that she got pretty close