Five Things To Know About The WTA Finals - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Five Things To Know About The WTA Finals

Newcomers, familiar faces and history makers. This year’s tournament is one full of intrigue.




Image via

The WTA Tour has reached its climax with the prestigious year-end Finals taking place in South America for the first time at the Panamerican Tennis Center in Mexico.


The eight highest ranked players have qualified for the event based on the points they have earned over the past 12 months. At stake is a prize money offering of up to $1.68M should a player clinch the title without losing a single match, as well as a maximum of 1500 ranking points.

Players have been separated into two groups with the top two of those progressing to the knockout stages later in the week. Group Chichén Itzá will feature Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari, Iga Swiatek and Paula Badosa. Meanwhile, Group Teotihuacán has Barbora Krejcikova, Karolina Pliskova, Garbiñe Muguruza and Anett Kontaveit.

Ahead of the 2021 WTA Finals getting underway, here are five facts to know about this year’s tournament.

The debutantes

This year six out of the eight participants in the WTA Finals are playing in the tournament for the first time in their careers. The only exceptions are Pliskova and Muguruza. This year will be the fifth time Pliskova has played in the season-ending event which is the joint-four highest number of appearances among active players. Only Svetlana Kuznetsova, Petra Kvitova and Serena Williams have played in more. The Czech has managed to progress out of the group stages in three out of her four previous appearances but is yet to make a final. Meanwhile, two-time Grand Slam winner Muguruza will be making her fourth appearance and her first since 2017. Her best run was six years ago when she reached the semi-finals.

The history makers

Sakkari and Kontaveit will be the first players representing their countries in the tournament. Greece’s Sakkari has already achieved a series of milestones for her country this season, including being the first woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final and the first woman to crack the top 10. As for 25-year-old Kontaveit, who was the last player to qualify for the finals, she became the first Estonian to break into the world’s top 10 this season.

At the other end of the spectrum the Czech Republic will be represented in the tournament for the 10th time in a row. They are the only country to be represented in the singles draw by multiple players with Pliskova and Krejčíková taking part.

Double duty

French Open champion Krejčíková is the first player since Pliskova in 2016 to be playing in both the singles and doubles events. She is the top seed in the doubles draw alongside Katerina Siniakova, as well as the second seed in singles. Should she win both, Krejčíková would become the first player to do so at the WTA Finals since Martina Hingis back in 2000.

The Czech 25-year-old won 15 matches in a row earlier this year during May to July which is the longest winning streak achieved by a WTA player on the Tour this session.

Kontaveit on fire

Despite being the last to qualify, Kontaveit’s recent surge in form positions her as a big contender for the crown. She has won three out of the past five tournaments played in Chicago, Moscow and Cluj-Napoca. During that period she has achieved five wins over top 20 opponents with the last of those being against Simona Halep in Romania.

Kontaveit has won four titles in total this year which is more than any other player participating in the WTA Finals. The only player to have won more than her is world No.1 Ash Barty with five. Barty has chosen not to participate in the event in order to prepare for the new season.

A new group of leaders

This time last year, five out of the eight players participating had never broken into the world’s top 10 on the WTA Tour. Swiatek, Badosa, Krejcikova, Sakkari and Kontaveit all achieved this milestone in 2021.

Ranking W/C 9/11/2020Ranking W/C 8/11/2021
Iga Swiatek 179
Maria Sakkari226
Anett Kontaveit238
Paula Badosa6910
Barbora Krejčíková 743

SEE ALSO: WTA Finals Daily Preview: Fresh Faces Invade the 2021 Field

Latest news

The Russian Tennis Federation wins the third Davis Cup title




The Russian Tennis Federation beat Croatia 2-0 to win their third Davis Cup title and their first since 2006 with straight-set wins by top 10 players Andrey Rublev and Danil Medvedev. 


World number 5 Andrey Rublev beat world number 279 Borna Gojo 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in 1 hour and 33 minutes to give the Russian Tennis Federation a 1-0 lead over Croatia in the final of the Davis Cup.

Russia equalled Czech Republic and Germany in seventh place in the all-time list of Davis Cup winners. 

Earlier this year Russia had also won the ATP Cup last February. 

Russia could become the fourth team to win both Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup titles in the same year after the women’s team claimed the women’s event beating Switzerland 2-0 last month. 

Gojo, who beat Lorenzo Sonego in the quarter final and Dusan Lajovic in the semifinal, saved break points in the first and third games of the first set, before Rublev earned two break points in the seventh game, as Gojo hit two backhands into the net. Rublev forced an error from Gojo with a forehand to break serve for 4-3. Rublev did not face a break point and served out the first set with an ace after 35 minutes. 

The Russian player did not convert his five break points in the first and third games of the second set. 

Rublev took Gojo to deuce at 5-5 but Gojo held with a serve down the middle. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. 

Rublev went up a mini-break twice in the tie-break, but Gojo broke back both times and took a 5-4 lead, when Rublev sent a forehand wide and a serve out wide.

Rublev earned two match points with a pass and forehand inside out and converted his first chance when Gojo hit his backhand long. The 24-year-old player did not face a break point and hit 18 winners. 

“It was super tough. There was a lot of pressure on me. Borna was playing ubelievably for the past two weeks. He was amazing today. I will enjoy this moment”,said Rublev. 

Danil Medvedev beat Marin Cilic 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 in the second singles match to give an insurmountable 2-0 lead ending Russia’s 15-year wait. Russia had won their previous titles in 2002 and 2006. 

Neither player was able to break point in a tight first set. Cilic earned a break point on Medvedev’s second serve at 4-3, but he hit a backhand return into the net. 

Cilic took a 4-2 lead when Medvedev sent a forehand wide in the tie-break. Medvedev won four of the next five points to earn a set point on Cilic’s serve. Cilic fended it off with a smash, but he sent a forehand out to face a second set point. Medvedev did not convert it after a double fault. Medvedev earned his third set point 8-7 with a big serve down the middle and converted ita s Cilic made a backhand error. 

Medvedev got his first break of the second set in the fourth game when a forehand from Cilic popped up off the net-cord. Medvedev sealed the second set 6-2 with his second break in the eighth game when a forehand from Cilic fell short. Medvedev won 87% of his first serve points. 

“It feels amazing. I am more happy for the team than myself. We have an amazing team with a great atmosphere and I am just happy to be able to be part of this team to win the points we needed. It was an amazing two weeks. I am really happy”, said Medvedev. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Russia sets up Davis Cup final against Croatia




Top 10 players Danil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev won their singles matches in straight sets to guide the Russian Team Federation to a 2-1 win over Germany sending the Russian Tennis Federation into the final of the Davis Cup in Madrid. The Russian team set up a final against 2018 Davis Cup champions Croatia in the Davis Cup on Sunday.  


Rublev eased past Dominik Koepfer 6-4 6-0 after just 49 minutes to give the Russian Team Federation a 1-0 lead. Rublev hit nine aces and converted all his four break points. 

“The difference today was compared to other matches where I was feeling I am winning quite easily. I don’t need to put in much effort, and in the end I was completely relaxed. I was giving up to the other guy”, said Rublev. 

This year’s US Open champion Danil Medvedev sealed Russia’s spot in the final with a 6-4 6-4 win over Jan-Lennard Struff in 66 minutes with a break in each set. Medvedev committed just six unforced errors and saved the only break point he faced. Struff saved two break points before sending his shot into the net to drop his serve. Medvedev held his serve to win the first set 6-4. 

“I am really happy for the team for the team. It has an amazing It won’t be easy against Croatia. They have the best doubles team in the world. We need to try to close it out in singles, but we believe in our guys in doubles”, said Medvedev. 

In the dead rubber Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev won the first set 6-4 with two breaks of serve, but they were not able to convert their two break break points, as Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz rallied to win the second set 6-2 with a break in the sixth game. The German team converted their third break point to win the match 4-6 6-2 6-3. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic send Croatia into the Davis Cup final with a win over Serbia in the decisive doubles match




Olympic gold medallists and Wimbledon champions Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic defeated Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajnovic 7-5 6-1 to complete Serbia’s 2-1 win over Croatia in the semifinal of the Davis Cup by Rakuten in Madrid. 


Croatia has reached the Davis Cup final for the fourth time in history after previous appearances in the championships match in 2005, 2016 and 2018. Pavic and Mektic, who won nine titles in 2021, earned the decisive break in the 12th game to close out the first set 7-5 and broke twice in the fourth and sixth games to seal the second set 6-1. 

“It was a great win and we played against a great team. Djokovic is the best player in the world”, said Mate Pavic. 

Croatia will face either the Russian Tennis Federation or Germany in Sunday’s final. 

Djokovic had sent the semifinal tie to a decisive doubles match after a 6-4 6-2 win over Marin Cilic in 1 hour and 39 minutes. Djokovic scored his 19th consecutive singles win in the Davis Cup. 

Cilic earned six break points in the first set and two more chances in the second set, but he was unable to convert them. 

Djokovic earned a crucial break in the ninth game from 0-40 down to win the first set 6-4. The 20-time Grand Slam champion broke twice in the third and fifth games to seal the second set 6-2. 

“It was always going to be a tough match against Marin. The first set was over an hour, with some very close games. I saved myself. Winning the first set gave me a lot of confidence for the second set. It was a nervy start for both of us. We both knew the significance of this match”, said Djokovic. 

In the first singles match earlier on Friday world number 279 Borna Gojo rallied from one set down to beat Dusan Lajovic 4-6 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 1 minute to give Croatia a 1-0 lead. Gojo had upset Alexei Popyrin in the round robin and Lorenzo Sonego in the quarter final. 

Gojo earned an early break in the second game of the first set and was two points away from a 5-1 lead. Lajovic won four consecutive games from 2-4 down with two breaks of serve to claim the first set 6-4. Gojo finished the opening set with 19 unforced errors to Lajovic’s 12. 

Gojo earned an early break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead in the second set and missed an opportunity for 4-0. Lajovic broke back in the fifth game for 2-3, but Gojo earned his second break in the sixth game to claim the second set 6-3 sending the match to the decisive set. Gojo broke twice in the first and third games of the third set and held his next service games to close out the decider 6-2.

Continue Reading