Original title: WTA year-end finals come to an end, women’s tennis welcomes the “new queen”: the oldest finals champion since Serena 7 years ago
[环球时报驻美国特约记者 陈 翔 环球时报特约记者 许云峰]The singles and doubles of the WTA year-end finals this season all staged a “new post-throne”. On the 18th, the 2021 WTA year-end finals came to an end in Guadalajara, Mexico. In the women’s singles final, the former world No. 1 and Spanish star Muguruza beat Estonian Contavet 2:0 and won the year-end finals for the first time in his career. Next week, Muguruza’s world ranking will jump to third, only behind Australia’s Batti and Belarus’ Sabalenka. In the women’s doubles final that ended earlier that day, the Czech combination Kregickova/Snyakova defeated Xie Shuwei/Mertens in straight sets to win the WTA finals for the first time.
“Spain’s first WTA year-end finals champion”
Climbing to the top of the WTA year-end finals means that Muguruza won the 10th career championship, becoming another Grand Slam and crown championship after Serena Williams, Kristels, Kvitova and Batty. Active female tennis players with championship titles in all levels of competitions including Super Five (now collectively referred to as the 1000), 500, 250, and year-end finals.
“Muguruza became Spain’s first WTA year-end finals champion,” AFP said after the game. As the winner of the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon Grand Slam, Muguruza won the finals this year. She also returned to the first-line player camp as a champion in Dubai and Chicago. She had not been among the top ten in the world in the previous three years. Third in the world, this will be Muguruza’s best year-end ranking since ranking second in the world in 2017, which means that she will appear as a seed player in the previous eight at the Australian Open next year.
The WTA official website stated that despite the unsatisfactory results of the past few years, the title of the year-end finals makes Muguruza a force that cannot be ignored now and in the future. In addition, 28-year-old Muguruza is also the oldest year-end finals champion since Serena 7 years ago. Muguruza said at the post-match press conference: “I am very happy to prove to myself again that I can be the best.”
And Muguruza’s final opponent Kontavit is by no means idle. The latter’s hard-court wins this year is the best in women’s tennis. Halep, Kvitova and Ka Pliskova are among others. All the masters were once defeated by her. According to the WTA official website, the 25-year-old Kontavit performed well at the end of the season, winning 29 of 32 games, winning 4 championships within 10 weeks, and thus won the last place in the year-end finals and won the runner-up in the finals. Kontavit’s year-end ranking will come to seventh place.
The rise of rookies, the revival of veterans
Looking back at the pattern of women’s tennis this year, AFP used the term “chaos” to describe the increasingly unpredictable nature of the development of women’s tennis. You know, Muguruza and Kontavit, who reached the finals, failed to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam this year. Muguruza’s win this time means that the seven consecutive WTA year-end finals after 2014 are all different faces, and the last six champions are all crowned for the first time.
Coupled with this season’s four Grand Slam women’s singles champions successively won by Osaka Naomi, Kretskova, Batty and 18-year-old British star Radukanu, it can be said that this year’s women’s tennis has been in from beginning to end. “Hundreds of flowers bloom”, the rise of rising stars is even more eye-catching. WTA official website stated that this season, the audience witnessed the epic rise of teenagers Radukanu, Laila Fernandez and Corey Gove, as well as the revival of veterans such as Ka Pliskova and Pavlyuchenkova.
Who will end the chaos?
Who will be alone and end the current chaotic pattern of women’s tennis? At least from the overall performance of this year, Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams and Batty did not show convincing performance: Naomi Osaka was trapped by psychological problems and once announced that he would withdraw from professional tennis indefinitely. The 24th Grand Slam of his career launched an impact but failed repeatedly. Batty played a “health tennis” and simply gave up the year-end finals and returned to his hometown to prepare for the Australian Open early next year.
Singapore’s “Lianhe Zaobao” stated that Japanese star Nao Saka has currently won 4 Grand Slam titles and has been considered the next “leader” in the world’s women’s tennis, but she is currently suffering from mental health problems. The US “New York Times” stated that Naomi Osaka seemed ready to “take over” the sport. But a month later, she announced the start of “indefinite vacation”, no one knows when or whether she will return.
Although Serena made it to the semi-finals at this year’s Australian Open, the American star has been absent due to injuries since the summer. As the winner of this year’s Wimbledon champion, World No. 1 Batty played “Missing” in the last two months of the season after a six-month-long tour.