Fixture: (9) Garbine Muguruza vs Barbora Krejcikova
Date: 13 March 2021
Tournament: Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships
Venue: Dubai, UAE
Category: WTA 1000
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,835,490
Match timing: Not befere 7 pm local time, 8.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Garbine Muguruza vs Barbora Krejcikova preview
The final of the 2021 Dubai Tennis Championships will be played on Saturday, between World No. 16 Garbine Muguruza and World No. 63 Barbora Krejcikova.
While Muguruza ousted Elise Mertens in her semifinals on Friday, Barbora Krejcikova got the better of Jil Teichmann. The Spaniard and the Czech both triumphed in straight sets, and for the most part did not face too much trouble.
The in-form Muguruza raced to a 5-2 lead in the opening set before eventually clinching it 6-4. The next set witnessed a similar story as Muguruza broke Mertens midway through, establishing a 5-3 lead, only for her persistent problem of failing to close out matches to crop up again.
Mertens saved four match points and then broke back to level the match at five games all. Two more match points came and went for Muguruza in the tiebreaker, and for a moment it seemed as though Elise Mertens would pull off an encore of her match against Jessica Pegula - where she saved three match points before completing a comeback win.
But Muguruza held her nerve, and eventually closed out the match 6-4, 7-6(5). The Spaniard struck 36 winners and also coughed up 40 unforced errors, in what was an occasionally inconsistent but still strong display.
Muguruza is now into her second final in as many weeks, and third of the year overall. The two-time Slam champion lost in the title match at the Yarra Valley Classic and the Qatar Open, and would be keen to go one better in Dubai.
Barbora Krejcikova, meanwhile, is into her second-ever WTA final (singles), after ousting Jil Teichmann 7-5, 6-2.
The Czech has had a stellar week in the Middle Eastern city, where she is yet to drop a set. In addition to Teichmann, Krejcikova has also defeated Maria Sakkari, Jelena Ostapenko, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anastasia Potapova.
Garbine Muguruza vs Barbora Krejcikova head-to-head
Garbine Muguruza and Barbora Krejcikova are yet to face each other on tour, and so their head-to-head is currently tied at 0-0.
Garbine Muguruza vs Barbora Krejcikova prediction
Even though Barbora Krejcikova is yet to drop a set in Dubai, it is Garbine Muguruza who is in better form. After dismantling Iga Swiatek in straight sets, Muguruza outlasted the big-hitting Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals.
Muguruza would be eager to finally get her hands on a trophy in 2021, after falling painfully short on two occasions. And that makes her especially dangerous.
It might be difficult for Krejcikova to deal with the powerful range of groundstrokes that Muguruza possesses. That said, the Spaniard's serve can be unreliable at times, as evidenced by the eight double-faults she struck against Mertens.
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Krejcikova might lack the extra bit of power to put Muguruza on the backfoot, but she can certainly make the Spaniard hit a few extra balls. It will be up to Muguruza to maintain her focus and keep attacking, and recent history suggests she will be able to do that.
Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to win in three sets.