Garbine Muguruza showed great character to bow out of the WTA Finals in triumphant fashion, coming from behind to defeat the previously unbeaten, but fatigued, Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6 6-0 6-1.
Defeat in her opening two matches sent French Open champion Muguruza out of the White Group before her final outing, while Kuznetsova went into the encounter already assured of a place in the semi-finals.
The Russian finally appeared to show signs of fatigue after winning the Kremlin Cup las Saturday to secure a place in Singapore, where she has had to come through two three-setters against Agnieszka Radwanska and Karolina Pliskova.
It started out positively for Kuznetsova, though, as she secured the first break when Muguruza drilled into the net and took the first set with an exquisite backhand slice down the line.
Rather than crumble the Spaniard continued to battle, benefiting from Kuznetsova's loss of composure to serve out a bagel set and force a decider that would further sap the Russian's energy reserves.
Muguruza saved seven break points in a 14-minute game to move 2-0 up in the third set, and although Kuznetsova ended a run that saw her lose 11 games in succession, she could not stop the Spaniard from taking the victory.
The Russian now has to do her best to recover as quickly as possible before a semi-final with the powerful Dominika Cibulkova on Satuday.
Muguruza  bt Kuznetsova  3-6 6-0 6-1
Muguruza - 31/32
Kuznetsova - 13/22
Muguruza - 3
Kuznetsova - 0
BREAK POINTS WON
Muguruza - 6/11
Kuznetsova - 2/13
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Muguruza - 58
Kuznetsova - 60
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Muguruza - 74/47
Kuznetsova - 54/46
Muguruza - 86
Kuznetsova - 65