In an exciting final in front of a highly enthusiastic crowd, Garbine Muguruza beat the surprise finalist Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 7-5 in the Mexican metropolis’ Pan American Tennis Center to win the Billie Jean King Trophy. For the former world No. 1, victory at an altitude of over 1500 metres was her biggest success alongside her grand slam titles in Paris (2016) and Wimbledon (2017). Previously a semifinalist in Singapore in 2015, Garbine Muguruza is the first Spaniard to win the WTA Finals. She went one better than countrywoman Arantxa Sanchez Vicario who lost the 1993 final to Steffi Graf. Triumphing in Guadalajara of all places comes as no real surprise as she has won 14 of the 16 matches she has played in Mexico during the course of her career.
“It means really a lot to me to win such a big, big, big tournament in Latin America, here in Mexico. I think it's just perfect. I always feel welcome and happy here,” said the 28-year-old Venezuelan-born Spaniard. In 2018 and 2019, she won back-to-back titles at the WTA tournament in Guadalajara and basically had a home advantage and the enthusiastic fans on her side. “The moment the WTA Finals was relocated to Guadalajara, I said to myself: okay, Garbine, it’s your big chance. You have to give your all no matter whether you win or lose. You have to go out and leave everything out there on court. That’s exactly what I did. I'm just very happy I proved to myself once again I can be the best, I can be the maestra, like how we say in Spanish. It’s a wonderful feeling.“
Exciting “Porsche Race to the WTA Finals”
The season’s eight most successful players qualified for the showdown in Guadalajara via the exciting “Porsche Race to the WTA Finals”. Points for the official ranking were awarded at a total of 54 tournaments including the four grand slams.
It was topped by Ashleigh Barty, the title holder and winner of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. As the world No. 1 from Australia declined to travel to Mexico, the WTA Finals were contested by Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus), Maria Sakkari (Greece), Iga Swiatek (Poland) and Paula Badosa (Spain) in Chichén Iztá group plus Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic), Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic), winner of the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Garbine Muguruza (Spain) and Anett Kontaveit (Estonia) in the Teotihuacán group. The tournament was played as a round robin with the top two players in each group advancing to the knock-out stage. The top eight doubles pairings were also in action in Guadalajara.
In the first semifinal, Garbine Muguruza won the all-Spanish duel against Paula Badosa 6-3, 6-3. Anett Kontaveit however had her work cut out when defeating Maria Sakkari 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. In the final, the crowd favourite Garbine Muguruza, the new world No. 3, repeated her win in the group phase when she handed Anett Kontaveit her first loss in Guadalajara. The Estonian has also improved to No. 7 in the world rankings. As for the doubles, the top favourites went unbeaten. The Czechs Barbora Krejcikova/Katerina Siniakova, who won this year’s French Open and gold at the Tokyo Olympics also secured themselves the WTA Finals title with a 6-3, 6-4 win against the Wimbledon champions Hsieh Su-Wei/Elise Martens (Taiwan/Belgium).
“The Finals were a huge success”
The short-term relocation of the WTA Finals from the Chinese high-tech metropolis of Shenzhen to Guadalajara in no way diminished the attractivity of the tournament. The highly enthusiastic Mexican fans generated a fantastic atmosphere. Thrilled by the high class matches and they cheered on the players the whole time. A boisterous atmosphere prevailed one week-long in the Pan American Tennis Center, especially during the night sessions.
“The finals were a huge success both for the WTA and Porsche and have once again offered great sport,” says Deniz Keskin, Director of Brand Management and Partnerships at Porsche AG. “Our Mexican friends were magnificent hosts. We would like to thank Porsche Latin America and Porsche Center Guadalajara, who, with their commitment, contributed to the exciting event for all the tennis fans and customers.”
Porsche has now been an official partner of the WTA Finals for the seventh time since 2014. Together with its Porsche Latin America subsidiary and the Porsche Center Guadalajara, the sports car manufacturer was represented on Centre Court with diverse brand placements and a little exhibition in the Public Village where tennis and car fans could, alongside other models, also take a closer look at the all-electric Porsche Taycan.
Maria Sakkari and Martina Navratilova meet Porsche customers
For Maria Sakkari, reaching the semifinals was not the only highlight at her WTA Finals premiere. The first Greek woman to make it to the season-ending tournament also enjoyed an unforgettable off-court experience.
At a Meet and Greet organised by Porsche Latin America and the WTA with 22 VIP guests from the Porsche Center Guadalaja, she met the legendary Martina Navratilova. Both have a special relationship with Porsche. The rapidly improving Maria Sakkari represents Porsche Greece as a Friend of the Brand whilst the tennis icon is the most successful player at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix with a total of six wins. She has also written history at the WTA Finals which she won on seven occasions, more than any other player.