Beijing: Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza, the world No. 5, defeated Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-4 to win the China Open, the second and biggest title of her career.
“I wanted to win in Beijing so much that I went out on the court ready to give it everything I had, and I did it,” the 22-year-old Muguruza said on Sunday.
The Spanish tennis player was down 2-5 in the first set to Bacsinszky, the world No. 17, but she rallied and mounted an epic comeback.
“For me, to be able to come and win the tournament after losing in the finals of Wuhan last week is a great achievement. It’s amazing, and I can’t wait to come back and defend my title next year,” Muguruza said.
The rising Spanish star, who lost in the Wimbledon final to American world No. 1 Serena Williams, will move up to No. 4 in the WTA rankings to be released on Monday and will be just one ranking point behind world No. 3 Maria Sharapova of Russia.
Muguruza had already booked a spot in the eight-woman WTA Finals before the final in Beijing but the victory in the Chinese capital gives her momentum heading into the year-end tournament.
Muguruza is the first Spanish woman to qualify for the year-end championships since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 2001.
She could be joined at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals by countrywoman Carla Suarez, who still has a chance to make the year-end tournament.
“It’s a shame that it’s just one point, but that’s what it is, so you just have to keep climbing,” Muguruza said.
The WTA Finals start on October 25 in Singapore, where Muguruza will play next after pulling out of the tournament in Hong Kong.
“My body is asking for rest. I haven’t recovered completely from my ankle, my body is exhausted and I have to get ready for the tournament of the year,” Muguruza said.