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Australian Open 2020: Garbine Muguruza makes quick work of Elina Svitolina in third-round win

  • The unseeded Spaniard had 31 winners and nine unforced errors to win 6-1, 6-2 against fifth-seeded Russian.
Rudy Martinez
Modified 25 Jan 2020, 17:40 IST

2020 Australian Open - Day 6
2020 Australian Open - Day 6

Garbine Muguruza showed her strengths to the best at the Australian Open Saturday night. The unseeded Spaniard had 31 winners and nine unforced errors to win 6-1, 6-2 against fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina at Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park.

The two appeared in their 11th meeting and a first at the Australian Open. The Ukrainian last won in Wuhan completing their third straight sets match. With the World No. 5 having not dropped a set yet, she would try to keep that going in the tournament and gain a big lead in the series. Muguruza hadn’t been able to lock down a match in two sets, going the distance in her first two matches at the tournament. The forehand would be most imperative to control as it would move one of them into the round of 16.

Muguruza had it going with Svitolina struggling to match her on forehand returns. It took the Ukrainian some effort to lock down a win as errors continued to rattle her in the second. With that apparent to the Spaniard, she got into another gear and launched a series of wins that including securing the double break. In the seventh, Muguruza notched two aces for set points which came to her in a short 23 minutes.

The 26-year-old was near flawless on the first serve scoring 12 of 13 with 11 winners. As the second got underway, Svitolina watched her opponent hold ground and hit balls back to make it a hard night for the fifth seed. She recorded a victory early but found herself in a hole as Muguruza took sharp accuracy and nasty net-front lobs that gave her a break in the third.

Moving into the court helped the Spaniard earn the break as Svitolina showed her pattern of staying behind the baseline. With a lot more fight, she battled through the fifth going ten minutes with the former World No.1 before notching her second. Muguruza redoubled her lead and marched into the seventh painting the lines with the ball to serve for the match in the eighth.

Svitolina denied her that chance showing no sign of surrender in her game. It wasn’t until a big net-front smash helped the 26-year-old to deuce where she delivered a crosscourt shot for match point and put the Ukrainian away with a clean winner finishing one hour and seven minutes.

In her post-match interview, Muguruza said,

“I was very concentrated and focused on what I had to do. Everything went pretty fast my way and I’ll take it. I think I played a really good match. I disturbed her early and take the match to my side and I’m happy about that.”

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Published 25 Jan 2020, 17:29 IST
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