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French Open: Muguruza dominates Kuznetsova in straight sets

Rudy Martinez
ANALYST
News
124   //    29 May 2018, 18:59 IST

2018 French Open - Day Three
Muguruza

Garbine Muguruza stayed composed to finish with a fine win at the French Open earlier today. The 2016 champion held off Svetlana Kuznetsova in a first set tiebreak before keeping her at bay winning in straight sets 7-6, 6-2 on Court One at Roland Garros.

The two haven’t met since last season at Cincinnati where Muguruza took a 5-1 series lead with a three-set win. This was the second time meeting at the Open in two years in which the Spaniard captured a win against the Russian. Kuznetsova hasn’t done well in a consistent sort of way since Istanbul where she made it to the quarterfinals. Muguruza has had similar results on the surface this season and hoped to not fall out of the slam early.

The 24-year old opened the set with two wins to her name before Kuznetsova answered. After a brief break due to rain, the players resumed with the Russian fighting her way back to a tie. She managed a three all score but the Spaniard had other ideas that saw her taking another break win followed by her service hold to sit at 5-3.

Just when it looked as if the world number three had the set locked down, Kuznetsova made a push to level the score at five all right before it began to rain down on the bullring sending the players off.

When they returned, the Russian served in her attempt to take the lead on Muguruza taking the 11th game but couldn’t keep her run of games alive. The Spaniard taught her a lesson firing on serve in the 12th with a clean serve to love. With the tiebreak in play, Muguruza smoked Kuznetsova winning 6-0 before getting the shutout to conclude 1 hour and 12 minutes in the set. It was the first time the third seed managed to pull off a feat like that hoping that more good would come of her opening round.

She dealt with the formal run of serving out the opening games before taking things into her hands. Muguruza returned to serve out her second win in the set before breaking the Russian for a 3-1 lead. The effort to get another one became trying for the world number three as Kuznetsova put a lot of challenging elements to earn a break and get back within reach. The fifth game went to four breaks and lasted nearly ten minutes before the third seed secured the hold.

The match win was on the horizon for Muguruza who sat two games down from the second round. After watching Kuznetsova hold her own end together, the 24-year old delivered another solid performance in the seventh earning her shot at taking the match.

The 32-year old tried to keep Muguruza at bay but the forehand drives and net shots became too much for her. Handing the third seed match point, Kuznetsova forced deuce with a winner away from the Spaniard.

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Kuznetsova had the advantage just once before all her momentum dissipated. Muguruza gained enough focus to take two attempts at victory before a final error from the Russian ended the day for the Spaniard.

It was the 33rd to come from the Russian who didn’t have the first serve together giving Muguruza the room needed to dominate. Despite being a two hour and five minute match with over an hour rain delay, the third seed would look forward to her second round facing French rookie Fiona Ferro.

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Rudy Martinez
ANALYST
A writer with eight years experience in sportswriting. He specializes in the National Hockey League, WTA Tennis and both summer and winter Olympic sports.
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