Garbine Muguruza booked her spot in the knockout rounds of the 2021 WTA Finals with a commanding 6-4, 6-4 win over Anett Kontaveit on Sunday.
Muguruza, a former semifinalist at the year-ending championships, needed a win against Kontaveit to move into the next stage of the tournament. And she managed to do that without the loss of a set, producing a strong display of attacking tennis.
Speaking at her post-match press conference, the Spaniard spoke about her "everything or nothing" approach to the match. The former World No. 1 revealed that she wasn't feeling her best after starting her campaign with a loss, but stepped out looking to "dominate" the exchanges in the subsequent contests.
Muguruza also described her performance against the in-form Kontaveit as her best of the week.
"Today was a match that was kind of everything or nothing," Muguruza said. "Starting the round-robin with a loss, it was never good. To finally get two wins and qualify was amazing."
"Today I think I played the best match out of the three," she added. "Cutting this long run from Anett, I was like, 'Okay, is it going to be me the one to stop her?' Yeah, just to maintain my serve and to dominate, try to do less mistakes than her also because the conditions are tough."
Garbine Muguruza's win has ensured that for the first time ever, there will be two Spaniards - the other being Paula Badosa - at the semifinal stage of the tournament. Reacting to that, Muguruza expressed hope of "motivating" young girls across Spain and Latin America to pick up the sport.
"This is going to motivate young girls from Spain, Latin America," Muguruza said after her win. "They can relate, hear us talk, get a more familiar feeling of tennis, not always seeing foreign players. This time they can be more close to us."
"I feel so home, this is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" - Garbine Muguruza about playing in Guadalajara
Garbine Muguruza also spoke about feeling at "home" playing in front of Mexican fans. The Spaniard has been a big draw in Guadalajara, finding support from many spectators at the Panamerican Tennis Center this week.
Muguruza described playing in the city as a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity, saying that she was "extemely motivated" to do well at the tournament.
"Yeah, definitely Latin America," Muguruza said. "The Latin America environment, air, people, crowd, everything. I love it here. I feel so home and welcome. People are very good with me. I guess that shows in my tennis, I don't know."
"It is very special for me," she continued. "This is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to play the Finals here. I'm very, extremely motivated, I would say."