Garbiñe Muguruza returned to her happy place on Sunday, winning her first-ever trophy at the season-ending WTA Finals.
Muguruza defeated Madison Keys 6-3, 6-4 to become the first Spanish player to win the WTA Finals, the most prestigious WTA Finals team event since the $5 million tournament moved to Singapore in 2008.
The win also represents a record ninth WTA Tour title of 2017 for Muguruza, who is the second youngest player, after Serena Williams, to reach eight career titles in 2017.
Congratulations to #GarbiñeMuguruza. She is the first ever Spanish player to win the WTA Finals (at 23 years, 10 months) and the first athlete from any country to win it since Maria Sharapova in 2008.#WCT 📺 https://t.co/JkLqlWkdFv pic.twitter.com/S3qSczoxGK — WTA (@WTA) April 9, 2017
Muguruza put together her best performance of the year after many fans around the world and her family asked her at the end of the season if she planned to go back to Barcelona.
“I said, ‘Yes I will go to Barcelona,’ and then I decided to stay,” Muguruza said.
During the final, Muguruza saved two break points to take the first set and got even stronger in the second, dominating Keys to take the title and move to No. 3 in the world rankings.
“I’m so happy right now,” Muguruza said. “It’s an amazing feeling. To be able to take my first tour title at the World Tour Finals in Singapore, I’m just so excited.”
Sunday’s win marked the second straight tournament the 23-year-old has won with a wrap of white on her racquet. Last week, she pulled off an upset win at the Sony Open and a similar win on Sunday, although this was her first in a WTA Finals.
WATCH: Spanish tennis player Garbiñe Muguruza wore a dress & won her 1st WTA Finals pic.twitter.com/7Bbg4FrhFI — BuzzFeed Sports (@BuzzFeedSports) April 9, 2017
The WTA Finals is named after Martina Navratilova, the legendary American tennis player and six-time U.S. Open champion. One of the main selling points of the WTA Finals is that the eight players at the end of the season are selected by a large group of tennis experts, players and fans in order to present one final shot at a championship title.
After losing in three straight finals for a total of 0-9, including the U.S. Open in September, Nick Kyrgios felt he had found a way to get to the WTA Finals and even had dreamt of winning one.
“To get to the top eight and win back-to-back events means nothing to me. That was just hope,” Kyrgios said at the start of the season. “The thing about the WTA Finals that makes it one of the biggest shows we have is that you have to win three matches to win it. So if you don’t win three matches, it’s not even close.”
Navratilova will be honored at the WTA Tour Finals for her special contribution to the WTA Finals, with a $15,000 donation going to her US Open Girls’ Tennis Hall of Fame scholarship fund.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.