WTA Finals debutants stat shows what a difference a year can make
Six of the eight players at the WTA Finals are making their event debut, with five sharing an enlightening stat from this time last year.
Among the field at this year’s WTA Finals, only Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza have played the event before.
Aryna Sabalenka, Barbora Krejcikova, Maria Sakkari, Anett Kontaveit, Iga Swiatek and Paula Badosa are all making their debuts.
Krejcikova has competed in the doubles event twice before, but never the singles.
In fact, one year ago in November 2020, five of those players had never broken into the top 10 in the world. Sabalenka was the exception. She had achieved a then career-high of ninth in 2019.
On 9th November 2020, Swiatek was the highest ranked of the five others, at 17th.
Sakkari was 22nd, Kontaveit 23rd, Badosa 69th and Krejcikova 74th. Moreover, Krejcikova had only breached the top 100 in singles for the first time that October.
Now, the Czech has a Roland Garros title to her name and is the WTA world number three.
World number one and Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty chose not to play the event. Therefore, Krejcikova is the only 2021 Slam champion competing in Mexico.
She will be going for double glory in Guadalajara, as she also qualified alongside partner Katerina Siniakova to compete in the doubles draw for a third time.
Muguruza and Swiatek are the only other singles Slam champions in the draw. Muguruza won Roland Garros in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017, defeating Serena and Venus Williams respectively at each.
A 19-year-old Swiatek famously won Roland Garros 2020 without dropping a set.
Krejcikova starts the event’s action, facing Kontaveit in the first group stage match. Pliskova then takes on Muguruza, before Sakkari faces Swiatek.
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