Karolina Pliskova continued her dominance of Garbine Muguruza Wednesday, opening her WTA Finals campaign with a battling 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6) victory over the Spaniard.

Czech third seed Pliskova, at 29 the oldest player in this year’s edition of the elite season-ending event, has now won nine of 11 career meetings with Muguruza, the latest putting her atop her round-robin’s group standings alongside Estonian Anett Kontaveit, who beat second-seeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-4.

After dropping the first set, Pliskova produced a superb serving effort to take the second, putting 16 of 18 first serves in play and dropping just two points on serve.

In a tense third set, Muguruza saved two match points while serving at 4-5 – the first with a service winner. But she was unable to capitalise on two break points that followed as they went to the tiebreaker.

Muguruza saved another match point to knot the decider at 6-6, but Pliskova won the next two to polish it off after two hours and 26 minutes when Muguruza belted a forehand wide.

The tournament was moved to Mexico from its usual home in Shenzhen, China, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The switch in venue means the tournament’s eight-strong singles field must adjust to the thin air…

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