Paula Badosa hails Garbine Muguruza for "breaking stereotypes", says it's an "honor" to have 2 Spaniards in WTA Finals

Garbine Muguruza in action at the 2021 WTA Finals
Garbine Muguruza in action at the 2021 WTA Finals
Sudeshna Banerjee

With Garbine Muguruza and Paula Badosa both qualifying for the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Spain has two women fighting for the trophy at the season-ending event for the first time in 21 years.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Muguruza is making her fourth appearance at the prestigious event, while Badosa is set for her debut.

Ahead of her first round-robin match against the top seed Aryna Sabalenka, Badosa spoke highly of Muguruza and how she has been an inspiration for the 23-year-old.

β€œShe is a player who has always been a mirror in which to look at myself,” Badosa told arabnews. β€œShe broke all the stereotypes. Such a dynamic and aggressive game was not common in Spanish tennis."

Calling Muguruza her "favorite", Badosa said she hopes to reach the heights the former French Open and Wimbledon champion has attained in the sport.

β€œShe is tall, different, my favorite," she said. "She has a game that I loved when I was growing up. I have always said that I would like to go where she has arrived. I am getting closer to her level and it’s an honor to have two Spanish women here.”

The WTA Finals was moved to Guadalajara, Mexico from Shenzhen, China due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact that this is the first time the event is being hosted by Latin America has thrilled the Caracas-born Muguruza.

The former World No. 1 hopes that bringing such a prestigious event to the region will encourage more girls to take up a racquet.

β€œI do feel we could be the fan favorites just because we have a similar culture,” she said. β€œI feel like this is going to motivate young girls from Spain, from Latin America."

Garbine Muguruza lost a thriller to Karolina Pliskova in her WTA Finals opener

Karolina Pliskova (L) & Garbine Muguruza ahead of their WTA Finals 2021 match
Karolina Pliskova (L) & Garbine Muguruza ahead of their WTA Finals 2021 match

Garbine Muguruza, who won titles this year in Dubai and Chicago, went down to Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova in her opening WTA Finals match on Wednesday night.

In the 11th clash between the two former World No. 1s, Muguruza saved three match points but was eventually beaten 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(6) after two hours and 26 minutes. It was the Spaniard's ninth loss to Pliskova in what has been a lopsided rivalry.

Muguruza described the loss as "painful" but admitted she was "proud" of her effort.

"Man, that was a painful loss definitely," she said. "I fought as hard as I could. At the end it was just one point difference. I'm actually proud of the match I played due to the circumstances. I loved the crowd.”
Magic in Mexico! πŸ‡²πŸ‡½βœ¨πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ @KaPliskova battles past Muguruza in a three set thriller! Incredible performance from both women! πŸ”₯#AKRONWTAFinals

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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