Garbine Muguruza had a strong start to the season with her first WTA title at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships. She has been the most consistent player on tour so far in 2021. Being the one to reach finals in Melbourne and Doha, she could have won the third Grand Slam title at the Australian Open only if she took one of two match points against Naomi Osaka in the fourth round.
Muguruza completed a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 victory over finalist Barbora Krejcikova to claim her first title since Monterrey in April 2019. Krejcikova, better known as a doubles player, had one set point but Muguruza saved it with a clinical forehand and pulled away during the second set.
Muguruza after winning the game, said: "It means a lot. It's never easy to win titles. I'm excited that it happened now after a few finals that didn't go my way. It was a nice relief. It was such a tight match. It could have gone either way. I had to work hard for it tonight."
Meanwhile, Nikoloz Basilashvili showed an exceptional return to form by lifting the Qatar ExxonMobil Open trophy. He had lost 14 of the 16 matches he had played since the tour resumed last summer.
Basilashvili is charged with domestic violence against his ex-wife. The ongoing legal process proved to be taking a toll on his game. But the world No 42 game back to his winning streak this week, starting with a victory over John Millman.
After the match, he was asked if he expected this victory and to walk home with the trophy, Basilashvili said: "Definitely not. I'm super, super happy. I had zero expectations for sure to win the tournament."