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MONTERREY, Mexico — In a battle between two players who have each won two Grand Slam titles and reached the World No.1 position, it was No.2 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain who came out the victor and defended her title at the Abierto GNP Seguros, as No.5 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus retired while trailing 6-1, 3-1.

Muguruza defeated Timea Babos in the 2018 final for her only singles title last year, and once again she hoisted the trophy in Monterrey for her first title of the season, when Azarenka’s leg injury made it impossible for her to continue after 66 minutes of play. This is the first time Muguruza has defended a WTA singles title, and it is the seventh title of her career.

“I’m very happy with this week,” Muguruza said, during her on-court post-match interview. “It’s a great feeling to come back and defend a title. It’s never easy. I’m loving Monterrey a lot and the crowd is supporting me all the time. “

Photos: Monterrey magic: From Bartoli to Muguruza

“Every title is sweet,” Muguruza later said to the Spanish-language media. “The ending was a little strange, [Azarenka] was injured, but it’s a special feeling, winning last year and now this year.”

“I did have tough opponents, this year’s draw was the best,” Muguruza continued, “and, well, I played my best tennis.”

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