Anett Kontaveit stretched her winning streak to 12 matches by beating Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-0 on Friday to secure a spot in the semifinals at the WTA Finals.
Kontaveit became the first player in the Guadalajara field to qualify for the semifinals with her straight-sets victory. She is guaranteed to finish in the top two of the Teotihuacán round-robin group.
Kontaveit came into this match riding a career-best 11-match winning streak, which included title runs at Moscow and Cluj-Napoca, as well as a victory in her first round-robin match this week over reigning Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova.
However, Pliskova came in with a 3-0 head-to-head record against Kontaveit, so something had to yield.
As it has been for much of the tail end of this year, Kontaveit had the last word, beating Pliskova for the first time in four meetings. Kontaveit is now 28-2 across her final eight tournaments of this season, and she owns a tour-leading 38 match-wins on hardcourts this year.
It took Kontaveit only 57 minutes to collect her second win of the week and seal a spot in the semifinals, in her WTA Finals debut. Kontaveit won 24 of her 29 first-service points and fired six aces to storm to victory.
Pliskova, who is making her fifth straight appearance at the WTA Finals, was unable to convert any of her three breakpoints. The Czech leads the tour in aces this season, but she had only four in this match and won just 63 percent of her first-service points.
The tournament was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The WTA Finals are being played in Guadalajara for this year only, with the event scheduled to return to Shenzhen, China in 2022.