Number two seed Garbine Muguruza held her nerve to secure a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Germany's Angelique Kerber at the WTA Finals on Wednesday.
Critical breaks of serve in the ninth game of the first set and the ninth game of the second set helped Muguruza secure the hard- earned victory, against an opponent who simply refused to hand it to her on a silver platter.
Kerber, having served particularly well for much of the first set, came horribly unstuck at a critical stage of the match. After slumping to 0-40 with the scores at 4-4, Kerber tried to launch a comeback but Muguruza kept her foot on the peddle.
While serving for the first set, Muguruza encountered another speedhump against the feisty German but managed to emerge virtually unscathed yet again and did not waste the one set point that did present itself.
When the Spaniard executed a critical break in the fifth game of the second set, one could have been forgiven for thinking that the final result was a foregone conclusion. Primarily because Muguruza had held relatively comfortably during the early stages of the second set but also because Kerber had struggled to hold her serve throughout.
However, when Muguruza had an opportunity to extend her lead to 5-3, Kerber threw caution to the wind and fought her way back into the contest. The energy expended on that game ultimately backfired though, as she failed to hold her next service game.
Muguruza, determined to seal the deal, raced to a 40-0 lead in the final game and secured the title at the second opportunity.