Muguruza rallies past Jabeur to win Chicago title

Two-time Grand Slam champion beats Tunisian sixth seed 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 in final to boost WTA Finals chances

AFP October 04, 2021


Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza captured the WTA Chicago Fall Classic on Sunday, rallying to defeat Tunisia's Ons Jabeur 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 in the final.

Spanish second seed Muguruza, who turns 28 on Friday, took her ninth career WTA title and second tour crown of the year after Dubai in March.

Muguruza, whose biggest titles came at the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon, claimed only her second US title after a 2017 trophy in Cincinnati.

Sixth seed Jabeur, ranked a career-high 16th, broke ninth-ranked Muguruza in the fourth game and held serve from there to take the first set.

In the second, Jabeur broke Muguruza to seize command but the Tunisian sent a backhand wide to surrender a break that lifted the Spaniard level at 3-3.

Muguruza broke again in the eighth game and served for the set up 5-3. Jabeur denied four set points and forced two break chances before the Spaniard forced a third set on a service winner.

Muguruza zipped through the final set to claim the crown in the event, added as a tune-up for next week's Indian Wells tournament, postponed from March due to Covid-19.

Jabeur, who ousted top seed Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals, won her only WTA title in June at Birmingham, becoming the first Arab woman to win a WTA crown.

Muguruza improved to 2-1 in her career rivalry with Jabeur, who beat the Spaniard in this year's third round at Wimbledon.

Muguruza ranks eighth and Jabeur ninth in qualifying for next month's season-ending eight-player WTA Finals in Mexico. Former world number one Muguruza hasn't reached the event since 2017. Jabeur has never qualified.


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