Fixture: (6) Garbine Muguruza vs (11) Yulia Putintseva
Date: 8 April 2021
Tournament: Volvo Car Open 2021
Round: Third round (Round of 16)
Venue: Charleston, United States
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Green clay
Prize money: $565,530
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Garbine Muguruza vs Yulia Putintseva preview
6th seed Garbine Muguruza will lock horns with 11th seed Yulia Putintseva in the third round of the 2021 Volvo Car Open on Thursday.
Muguruza and Putintseva both registered comprehensive victories in their respective second-round fixtures on Tuesday. While Muguruza beat Magdalena Frech 6-1, 6-3, the Kazakh beat Zarina Diyas 6-2, 6-2.
With this result, Muguruza has now notched up a whopping 21 wins in 2021. The Spaniard was imperious on serve against Frech, winning almost 81% of those points.
Muguruza faced just two break points against Frech, and she saved both of them. The former French Open champion was equally devastating with her return, winning almost half of the points played on her opponent's serve.
Muguruza seems to have taken well to the green claycourts of Charleston, despite last playing in the South Carolina event way back in 2013.
Yulia Putintseva, meanwhile, is yet to drop a set in the two rounds she has played at Charleston so far. That said, Harriet Dart did give the Kazakh a tough time in the opening round, breaking her serve four times.
Putintseva made amends against compatriot Zarina Diyas in the second round, particularly on her weaker second serve. The 26-year-old won nearly 60% of her second serve points, which is particularly impressive given the slowness of the surface.
Clay is arguably Putintseva's best surface. Even though Muguruza herself is an accomplished claycourter, she is likely to face plenty of resistance from the Kazakh.
Garbine Muguruza vs Yulia Putintseva head-to-head
Garbine Muguruza leads Yulia Putintseva 2-0 in the head-to-head. The two have faced each other on clay once before, at the 2017 French Open, with Muguruza winning 7-5, 6-2.
Garbine Muguruza vs Yulia Putintseva prediction
Given her recent form as well as her past success on slow surfaces, Garbine Muguruza enters this fixture as the firm favorite.
Yulia Putintseva has a solid all-round game, with very consistent groundstrokes from the back of the court. Putintseva also likes to vary the spin and trajectory of her shots, which is a useful tactic on clay.
But the Kazakh will not have anything easy on Thursday, given that Muguruza has the ability to smother any kind of spin with her powerful and deep shots. The Spaniard has been playing some of her best tennis in 2021, and we can expect her to produce more of the same against Putintseva.
Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to win in straight sets.