WTA Finals: Karolina Pliskova edges Garbine Muguruza

Karolina Pliskova

They were both a little bit nervous in the final-set tiebreak. At the end, Karolina Pliskova beat Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 [6] in the WTA Finals in Guadalajara.

During those last, crucial moments, the Czech was fearless, though not on every sho

Yes, it is important that when you are chasing the ball side to side to just get it back, hopefully deep, doing anything to stay during the point. But, when Pliskova had an opportunity, she should punch it away.

It was a very long match. Pliskova has hit so many aces, easily one of the best in the WTA. Her first serve is a bomb, on the line, or in the corner.

Really though, Muguruza could have won it, especially with her muscular forehand and backhand. Plus, even though she is not perfect at all at the net, her game has improved there. But, in the last couple minutes, she made a few important, fateful errors.

However, the Spaniard has lost only one match. So, on Friday and Saturday, the two-time Grand Slam champion will need to win two matches to move into the semis in Mexico. She just has to continue to battle.

That’s 11 match wins in a row by Anett Kontaveit, who beat Barbora Krejcikova. In August, she started to play excellent ball, moving quickly and depending on her super true-blue strokes. She is still gaining ground on the rest of the players with another victory at the WTA Finals.

It looks like an American man will not finish the end of the year in the top 20. Taylor Fritz is the closest person. Next Monday, he will be ranked 23, more or less. He did have a good year, at times, but not fantastic – yet. Sure, many people are happy that the players can be inside the top 20, but for the most part, they want to move into the top 10, or even better, in the top 5. It is all about winning the biggest events, such as the Grand Slams, and after that, the ATP 1000s. The last American man to win a Slam is Andy Roddick at the 2003 US Open. That has been 19 years ago now. That is a very long time.

Someday, it will eventually happen, but when? Next year, or in two years? How about in 2024? Will it be John Isner? Fritz? Reilly Opelka? Sebastian Korda? Frances Tiafoe? Tommy Paul? Brandon Nakashima?

Outside of Isner, who has reached the semis at the Slams and he has won an ATP 1000, the rest of them have not reached in the quarters at the majors. The younger players had some terrific wins this year. But, when you have to defeat the top 5-ers like No. 1, Novak Djokovic, there is a long way to go. Just take it and grab it.

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