Spain’s Garbine Muguruza reached the semi-finals of the season-ending WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico, after beating Anett Kontaveit, while Karolina Pliskova missed the cut despite her comeback victory over Barbora Krejcikova on Sunday.
Muguruza ended Kontaveit’s 12-match winning streak with a 6-4 6-4 win over the Estonian, booking a spot in the knockout stage for the first time since her tournament debut in 2015.
Muguruza won a remarkable 80 percent of her first serve points and fired seven aces in Sunday’s victory as she finished second in the “Teotihuacan Group” behind Kontaveit, with both posting a 2-1 record.
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“Today was a match that was kind of everything or nothing,” Muguruza told reporters. “Starting the round-robin with a loss, it was never good. To finally get two wins and qualify was amazing.”
Two-time Grand Slam champion Muguruza will face compatriot Paula Badosa in Tuesday’s semi-final. The winner of the contest will be the first Spanish woman to reach the final since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario finished runner-up in 1993.
“I didn’t know all of this history,” Muguruza said. “1993, I was born that year.
“It’s amazing that there are four players left and two of them are Spaniards. That just shows that Spain has a great level of tennis.”
Earlier, Pliskova came out on top in an all-Czech showdown, storming back to stun compatriot Krejcikova 0-6 6-4 6-4.
Despite the win, Pliskova failed to reach the semi-finals as she finished third in the group, with Kontaveit and Muguruza advancing as the top two. Second-seeded Krejcikova ended bottom after losing all three matches.