After wrapping up her match at the 2016 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global against reigning French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza at approximately 1:22 a.m. local time, fourth seed Karolina Pliskova sat down with reporters to briefly discuss her epic victory, including how she managed to reel off seven of the next eight games from 0-4 down in the decider to continue her stellar record against the Spaniard.
Pliskova Overcomes Disappointment, Saves a Match Point to Stun Muguruza in Singapore
After getting on court a little after 11 p.m. local time, it was Pliskova who settled in the quicker of the two, picking up right where she left off in the pair’s last meeting in Cincinnati, where the Czech ruthlessly dropped just four games en route to securing a place in the final. Leading by a set and a break, an easy victory appeared to be on the cards for the Czech before Muguruza, making her second WTA Finals appearance in as many years, suddenly found her rhythm, coming from behind once again to a high-quality second set in a tiebreak.
“Well, [it was] very difficult because obviously in the second set, I was up a break, then 3-0 in [the second-set] tiebreak,” Pliskova noted after the match. “So I was so close to win it in the second set.”
“Then I have to just say she improved really her game and her serve and everything. She was more solid. She stopped missing that much like she was in the first and then beginning of the second set,” the Czech said of Muguruza.
With a rediscovered confidence now flowing through her veins, the reigning French Open champion surged to a 4-0 lead in the decider. But try as she might, the Spaniard couldn’t seem to get over the line, squandering a match point while serving for the match at 5-2 and letting the match slip out from beneath her. From there, Pliskova would reel off 18 of the next 22 points to snatch a seemingly improbable victory from the jaws of defeat at 22 minutes past 1 a.m. local time.
When asked how she managed to keep her composure despite being forced to face such a sizeable deficit, Pliskova responded confidently, “I mean, I still know I have the game. One break didn’t mean anything for me because I can be back quickly.”
“I was just somehow trying to hold close to her and waiting for my chance, and I got few chances. Really wasn’t easy. All the games are pretty close in the third set.”
“So I was really happy with every game what I did, with every point what I put back on her serve, and was waiting for my chance.”
Sensing the opportunity to make a seemingly unlikely comeback, the U.S. Open finalist made sure to give nothing away for free, a great decision considering Muguruza’s hesitation to get over the line. “I don’t know if she was nervous or just want to finish so quickly, but she started to do so many mistakes from the baseline,” she noted. “So I just was waiting and just holding the ball in the game. She always missed.”
After the exploits of her début match at the WTA Finals, an understandably fatigued Pliskova joked around with a room of reporters that she could end up waking up on Wednesday instead of Tuesday altogether, though she still had a whole host of things to do before hitting the sack at a little past 2 a.m. local time.
“I’m going to just do my stuff, so massage, to eat something, and prepare for the next day what I have. Tomorrow, see when I wake up. I don’t know if I wake up. Maybe I wake up on Wednesday,” she joked, laughingly.
“Let’s see, you know. I have to get back to my work, so I’ll try to hit tomorrow afternoon and get ready for [my] next match.”