Garbine Muguruza shook off distractions from her opponent which included an overly long medical timeout and an error-prone ball toss to win her eighth career title on Saturday.
Spain’s double Grand Slam champion defeated 63rd-ranked Czech Barbora Krejcikova 7-6(6), 6-3 in Dubai to come good in a WTA final after losing two already this season.
Mugurza lost out a week ago in Doha to Petra Kvitova and was beaten by Ash Baty in a pre-Australian Open title match in Melbourne last month.
The Geneva-based winner, who owns trophies from Roland Garros and Wimbledon, leads the WTA with 18 victories this season
“This is a great achievement,” Muguruza said after coming through in just over two hours and breaking seven times.
“I’ve been coming her for many years (two previous semi-finals). I’ve been close, but not close enough.
“Today, I got the champion’s trophy. I”m so happy to win this one afte losing a few finals in a row.”
The last of Muguruza’s titles came in Monterrey almost two years ago.
Against the inexperienced Krajcikova, Muguruza had to wait for nearly 12 minutes after winning the first set as the Czech ducked off court with the trainer for what under the rules should have been no more than a five-minute injury time out.
But after 12 minutes, the challenge made a reappearance and play resumed.
Krajcikova also had repeated trouble with her high service toss, which tended to drift to her left, forcing multiple re-starts.
Muguruza was also without the on-site presence of coach Conchita Martinez, who was locked down in Doha isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 prior to heading to Dubai last weekend
The job of coaching, scouting and keeping the player’s body in shape fell to Muguruza’s physio, who live-streamed the match to Martinez on a mobile phone from the players box.
Muguruza won the opening set on her fourth set point after Krajickova saved three in the 12th game to bring on a tiebreaker.
The Spanish ninth seed finally took the lead by winning the decider on her fourth chance.
The second began with a break of the Czech, but Muguruza still had to battle, saving three break points for a 2-0 lead
Muguruza salvaged another pair in the sixth game and finished off victory on her second match point as Krejcikova drove a return long.
“Consistency is so important,” the winner said. “But being able to play the final in a big event like this is a great sign we’re on the right way.
“It’s been more challenging this week than many might think, we’ve stood strong as a team even with all that has happened.
“If you want to win the trophy you have to beat everyone along the way.”
Main photo:- Garbine Muguruza with Dubai winners Trophy by WTA Tennis.com