WTA Finals 2021, Guadalajara, Mexico: Paula Badosa’s WTA Finals journey comes to an end in the semifinals against her fellow countrywoman Garbine Muguruza comprehensively took the match 6-3, 6-3 to book a spot at the finale.
The battle didn’t run as expected from Paula Badosa’s point of view and lasted only an hour and 25 minutes. It is only the second time any Spaniard has reached the finale but has never won a title.
“I think it’s the best match that I played so far here in Guadalajara,” said Muguruza, after her win. “It was a tough match facing another Spaniard in the semifinals….We’ve never faced each other before, so it was tricky.
“But I’m very happy that I got the win. Very proud of Paula. She started the year far in the rankings, and now she’s a Top 10 player. Very impressive. She deserves a very well rest. Very happy for her year.
“Every time I came here to Mexico, I always feel very welcome, very happy. The environment just clicks with me. Having a [WTA Finals in Mexico] played this year, it was like, ‘Okay, Garbiñe, this is your opportunity. You got to give it all, no matter if you win or lose. You have to get out of here and feel like, man, I gave all my energy.’ I think I’m doing that.”
Garbine was aggressive right from the start breaking Badosa early to take a 2-1 lead. The set then went smoothly for Muguruza holding her serve and then breaking again with a forehand winner to claim the set.
Badosa was again down early when Muguruza broke taking a 2-0 lead forcing a backhand error. The upcoming game in the set was a little bit clumsy from the finalist but managed to reach a 3-0 advantage and fend off any comeback moments.
Badosa swept away four break points to grit out a tough hold for 4-2 and stay within touching distance. But Muguruza refused to yield on serve and garnered her first match point at 5-3 with an unreturned serve. Badosa dropped an unforced error into the net at that juncture, and Muguruza moved into her fifth singles final of the season.
The difference was the first serve points which Muguruza manage to win 81% and also attacking Badosa‘s sluggish second serve winning 64% of those points.
Said Badosa: “It was very new for me, all these situations, being in these rounds, playing in front of a lot of people. Everything was really big at the beginning of the season, having these results. I think now I quite feel it’s more normal and I’m getting used to it. I think that will help me for next year as well if I want to do big things.”