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Muguruza claims first Dubai tennis title

Garbine Muguruza celebrates with the trophy after her victory over Barbora Krejcikova in Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final.
Garbine Muguruza celebrates with the trophy after her victory over Barbora Krejcikova in Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final.

Dubai - The final lasted two hours and six minutes

By Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Sat 13 Mar 2021, 10:13 PM

Last updated: Sat 13 Mar 2021, 10:27 PM

The women’s singles final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships may have ended in two sets, but it certainly produced drama worthy of a title decider in a premier event.

Garbine Muguruza, the two-time Grand Slam winner from Spain, brought all her experience to the centre court to overcome the gutsy Barbora Krejcikova, the lowest ranked finalist in Dubai since 2009, on Saturday evening.

The 27-year-old Muguruza eventually held her nerve against the unseeded Czech player to eke out a 7-6 (8/6) 6-3 victory in a fierce battle of baseline rallies to clinch her first title of the season.

The final lasted two hours and six minutes, and it finally ended when Krejcikova, facing two championship points after saving one in the ninth game of the second set on her serve, sent a forehand long.

Naturally, Muguruza heaved a sigh of relief after winning her first trophy of the season, having lost the Qatar Open final last week to Krejcikova’s illustrious compatriot, Petra Kvitova.

“It’s a great achievement. I have been coming here for many years now, I felt I was close to the title a few times (after two semifinal appearances in 2015 and 2018). And today I finally got the champion’s trophy. I am very happy to win this after losing a few finals this season,” said Muguruza after winning her first career title since 2019.

“We have really worked hard this season and today it paid off. I am really happy today.”

But Muguruza had to dig deep for her triumph against the unseeded Krejcikova on Saturday as the two players traded blows from the baseline especially in the dramatic first set that saw a nail-biting tie-break.

“I think Barbora played great tennis. It was such a close match. I am sure we are going to play more and more in the weeks ahead,” the ninth seed Muguruza said of Krejcikova, who reached her first final in a premier WTA tournament.

Krejcikova, on the other hand, said she would learn from the experience of playing a ‘legend’ like Muguruza in the final.

“It was my first time in the main draw (in Dubai) and I was able to achieve such a wonderful result. I am just really, really proud of myself. I really enjoyed this week and I can’t really wait to come next year,” the 25-year-old Czech player said.

Muguruza then thanked the Dubai Duty Free for organising a wonderful tournament despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.

“I have to say that I am so amazed by the Dubai Duty Free for the organising the tournament in these circumstances with Covid and no crowd and giving us the chance to play, it means a lot to us. I am very, very thankful for that,” said Muguruza who became the first Spanish player to win the WTA title in Dubai.

Earlier, the eighth-seeded Alexa Guarachi of Chile and Darija Jurak of Croatia clinched the doubles title with a straight sets win (6-0 6-3) over China’s Yifan Xu and Zhaoxuan Yang in the final.

Following the grand success of the women’s event, Sunday will see the start of the men’s tournament where a slew of top-ranked players, including the reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem, will vie for the title.


Doubles final

(8) Alexa Guarachi (CHI)/Darija Jurak (CRO) beat Yifan Xu (CHN)/Zhaoxuan Yang (CHIN) 6-0 6-3

Singles final

(9) Garbine Muguruza (ESP) beat Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 7-6 (6) 6-3

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