The season ending finale for a very competitive 2021 for the women’s tour. The top 8 players in the WTA rankings qualify for the tournament. No world number one Ash Barty and Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur meaning there are places for number 9 Iga Swiatek and Number 10 Paula Badosa. Ons and Ash deciding to give Mexico a miss.There is no one more on fire than Anett Kontaveit going into this one having won two of the last three tournaments she entered. She faces French Open champion Barbora Krecjikova in their Group Teotihuacán match. The same Group has Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza.
This match was more one sided than I would have hoped it would be, although I had picked Barbora to struggle in the north American hard court more than Anett. Both players a great at finding the corners. How about 1-1 first set for a confident service game to love from Anett. Barbora’s best weapon is that two handed backhand cross court and when it is on song it hits the corners so sweet. Watch 3-1(30-15) Anett. Barbora was looking to break back immediately and the two handed backhand crafting the point nicely for the Czech. A disappointing stat for Barbora for the match is that she never got a break point out of the Anett serve. To win a match we need those don’t we? On to the serves. Both players were serving below 60% on first serve meaning there was a chance on either second serve for both. Anett won more on second serve with 69% although Barbora gave her a run for her money at 65%. Check out 4-2(30-0) Kontaveit. It is a pity Barbora couldn’t attack the second serve more like this point. The Anett serve was significantly slower than how she played it in the Euro hard courts and if I was Barbora I would have been all over it. That seventh game was very important for Anett as Barbora had a real go at it taking the match to deuce but the Estonian held on. First set Anett 6-3.
Much talk going into Guadalajara has been on the type of balls used for this tournament. These high altitude balls feel heavier than the normal ones so players tend to complain that they need more effort to hit. These suit Anett’s game to the tee. Check out first point of set two 15-0 Barbora. Kontaveit requires little effort in the arms to generate the power, but she lets the body do it for her. Watch the footwork. On point. Barbora is a type of player known as the aggressive type, she likes to be in control of the point from the very start of the serve. Like at 2-0 first point. The point of struggle for her is when she turns on the defensive in the longer rallies. Watch 3-2(30-15). The one break of serve enough to win the match for Anett, her eleventh straight win on Tour. Anett is a great retriever, check out 5-3(40-30) . Although the lob wasn’t what the doc ordered at the end there, the two defensive retrievals there deserved better outcome. With Pliskova winning against Garbine in three sets later on , Kontaveit leads the group.