Australian Open 2017 - Vandeweghe continues giant-killing run to oust Muguruza
Vandeweghe picked up momentum in the second set and did not let go.
USA's Coco Vandeweghe played some breathtaking tennis to upset 7th seed Garbine Muguruza, 6-4 6-0, to make the first Grand Slam semi-final of her career. Vandeweghe's win ensures an American finalist in the Women's Singles as she would take on fellow American Venus Williams for a place in the final.
Muguruza had no answers to Vandeweghe's go-for-broke kind of tennis. Everything that Vandeweghe touched turned to gold. And there's not much one can do as an opponent in such a situation. Simply put, Vandeweghe was just too good for Muguruza today, and would have been good enough for almost anyone. It was just one of those days!
Both players, making their first time quarter-final appearance at Melbourne Park, came into this match in devastating form. While Vandeweghe had knocked out top seed and defending champion Angelique Kerber in straight sets in the 4th round, Muguruza was yet to drop a set.
Vandeweghe and Muguruza had played each other thrice before, with Vandeweghe winning two of them. Although, their last encounter was won by Muguruza, who took out Vandeweghe in straight sets at the Cincinnati Masters last year.
Muguruza is a former world number two and the reigning French Open champion. It may be recalled that she had won the French Open title last year after beating Serena Williams in straight sets in the final. So this was particularly an important match for her, as she's out to prove that she's not just a "one-hit wonder", as her dip in form after the French Open last year had people asking questions of her.
Vandeweghe simply overpowered Muguruza in this 57-minute marathon to take it 6-4.
Vandeweghe was off the blocks right away, picking up from she had left off against Kerber. She immediately put the Muguruza serve under pressure, earning two break points, but Muguruza saved them with some smart tennis to hold for a 1-0 lead.
In stark contrast, Vandeweghe held her serve to love with consummate ease, to make it 1-1.
A slew of unforced errors from the Vandeweghe racquet enabled Muguruza to quickly bring up a 40-15 lead on her serve. But a double fault and a volley error saw Vandeweghe pulling back the score to deuce. Vandeweghe set up another break point for herself with an audacious forehand crosscourt winner, but Muguruza saved it yet again with heavy serves to go up 2-1.
Muguruza targeted Vandeweghe's backhand beautifully in one of the points in the next game, drawing errors out of that flank. And that was clearly going to be the way forward for her in this match. But despite those errors, Vandeweghe held her serve for 2-2, helped by some big first serves.
Muguruza realized that in the next game itself, going to the Vandeweghe backhand to set up points for herself. And immediate results could be seen to, as she held serve to 30 for the first time in the match, after having faced break points in both her previous service games. The scoreline read 3-2 in Muguruza's favor.
Vandeweghe returned the favor, holding comfortably to make it 3-3. Some gutsy serving by Muguruza helped her save four break points, but a fifth one proved to be a bit too much, as she succumbed to the pressure and handed the break with a double fault. Vandeweghe consolidated the break after a slight hiccup to open up a 5-3 lead for herself. Muguruza did well to save a set point to force Vandeweghe to serve the set out at 5-4, which she did beautifully, after saving a break point with an ace.
The second set was one way traffic. It took Vandeweghe just 27 minutes to bagel Muguruza and see her off.
Some deep returns from Vandeweghe on the Muguruza serve put Muguruza on the backfoot immediately. She found herself a break down immediately, with Vandeweghe arguably playing the best tennis of her life.
Every outrageous shot that she was trying to hit was coming off. With her serve firing too, she opened up a 2-0 lead for herself.
Some unbelievable backhand winners saw her break Muguruza's serve again, and Muguruza had no answers to them. There's not much she could have done, really. Vandeweghe was up 3-0 in no time.
Muguruza still had no answers to Vandeweghe's first serve, as she won just three points on them in the entire match. The trend continued in the next game, as Vandeweghe held for 4-0, at the back of her big first serves.
Some out of the world forehand winners in the next game by Vandeweghe saw her break Muguruza for a 5-0 lead.
Serving out the match was just a mere formality, and Vandeweghe did it without too many hiccups to seal her place in the semi-finals.