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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday November 17, 2021

Winning 29 of 32 matches and claiming four titles, all in the span of three months, can do wonders for a players confidence. That’s been evident this week in Guadalajara, where Anett Kontaveit of Estonia has ridden the hot hand into the finals and a showdown with Garbine Muguruza for the biggest title of her career.

Tennis Express

The World No.8, who has shocked the tennis world with her eleventh-hour push to qualify for the WTA titles, is learning how to compete – and beat – the best.

“I feel like the last few months have really showed me that I can play really well, I can beat great players consistently,” she said on Tuesday night after edging Maria Sakkari in three sets, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. “I think I sort of have this self-belief now. When I came here, of course, I had nothing to lose. Every time I step on the court, I still think I can win the match, just do well.”


Kontaveit’s newfound self-belief was on display in the third set against Sakkari on Tuesday, when she fell behind by a break in the third set. Her reply? Win the next eight points with daring shotmaking, then hang on for dear life to break in a game that featured six deuces.

Not long after she was celebrating her WTA-leading 48th win of the season as the crowd cheered in Guadalajara.

“I think my thought process in this moment was if this is going to be my last match of the season, I'm really going to enjoy it and just give it all that I have,” she said. “I think that gave me some sort of freedom. Of course, the self-confidence from the previous matches helps a lot in this situation, too.”


If her words are any indication, we can expect a brilliant performance from Kontaveit in the final against Muguruza. The two players have met five times previously, with the Spaniard taking three. Kontaveit lost to Muguruza in the final match of round robin play at these WTA Finals, 6-4, 6-4, but she’s ready to put that match behind her and look to finish with a flourish in 2021.

“I definitely have to clean up the unforced errors from the previous match,” she said of the loss to Muguruza. “I think that's the main thing. Just really fight and give my everything.

I think we've played a couple times in a very short period of time. I'm ready for a tough match. She's played some great tennis. She's beaten really good players. So have I. I'm really looking forward to this new challenge.

“It's a new match. The previous matches, I think they don't really matter if you have this new opportunity.”

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