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Garbiñe Muguruza suffered in her debut at the Moscow Kremlin Cup, directly in the second round, to beat the 26-year-old Czech and 51st in the world Tereza Martincova, but he won in three sets (6-4, 3-6 and 6-3), in a difficult match that lasted 2h45, and is one win away from getting the math pass to the WTA Finals, which will be held in Guadalajara (Mexico) from November 10 to 17. The qualification threshold is now 3,250 points. The Spanish accumulated 3,195 and another victory on Friday, against the German Petkovic or the Estonian Kontaveit, would leave her with 3,280. The Tunisian Jabeur, who withdrew on Tuesday when she lost against the local Alexandrova, would no longer reach her; the Ukrainian Svitolina, who was eliminated yesterday in Tenerife by the Colombian Osorio; Kontaveit herself and Russia’s Pavlyuchenkova.

Garbiñe, the No. 2 seed of the Russian 500, rallied from 4-1 in the first set (his opponent was 4-0 to make it 5-2) with two breaks in the last four games. and in a crazy second set, with five breaks, the opposite happened to him. Martincova turned the score around, served to equalize the game at 5-4 and although he lost his serve, he immediately added another break that extended the game. In the third set, the world number five calmed down and broke her rival. Although he could not consolidate the advantage afterwards, he won the game over the rest and kept his other turns until the end, losing only two points in them.

Muguruza, who has reached the quarterfinals of a tournament for the seventh time this season, will try to keep moving forward to emulate the success of her coach, Conchita Martínez., who was champion in Moscow in 1996. “I am happy. It is my first victory in Russia (debuted in this event) and that has excited me. It was a very difficult match and I am glad to have won it,” said the Caracas woman, who was coming of falling at the first exchange rate in Indian Wells. “I think I served well in the third set and I kept attacking and playing my game. I got the break and managed to hold on until the end,” he added.

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