WTA Finals: Pliskova overcomes slow start to defeat Muguruza

Karolina Pliskova overcame a slow start before beating Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6) on Wednesday in her opening match at the WTA Finals.

Karolina Pliskova in action.   -  AP

Karolina Pliskova overcame a slow start before beating Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6) on Wednesday in her opening match at the WTA Finals.

In a contest between two former No. 1-ranked players, the third-seeded Pliskova struggled early adjusting to the nearly 5,000-feet altitude of Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city.

Pliskova is playing the WTA Finals for the fifth time, having reached the semifinals in 2018 and '19. The 2020 tournament was cancelled.

She didn't win any titles in 2021 but kept a high ranking by reaching the finals at Wimbledon and Montreal, and the semifinals at Cincinnati.

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Pliskova now has a 9-2 record against former Wimbledon and French Open champion Muguruza, who won the Chicago and Dubai titles this year and is making her fourth appearance at the season-ending event.

Muguruza dropped her opening service game but then won four straight games to take a 4-2 lead and eventually clinched the first set in 38 minutes.

Pliskova settled down in the second, breaking Muguruza´s serve in the second and eighth games to level the match.

The third set lasted more than an hour, with Muguruza saving three match points to force a tiebreaker, and another in the tiebreaker before Pliskova sealed the win.

Earlier, Anett Kontaveit extended her hot streak with a 6-3, 6-4 win over second-seeded Barbora Krejcikova.

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