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Hong Kong Tennis Open: Muguruza wins in straight sets on tournament debut

Rudy Martinez
ANALYST
News
37   //    09 Oct 2018, 19:56 IST

2018 Hong Kong Tennis Open Day 1
2018 Hong Kong Tennis Open Day 1

Garbine Muguruza put together a great start to a new tournament on Tuesday night. The top-ranked Spaniard took down Sara Sorribes-Tormo in straight sets winning 6-3, 6-1 at the Hong Kong Tennis Open. The recent birthday girl had all the right elements in her forehand come together bringing a much-needed victory to her record.

This was the first meeting between the compatriots and an opportunity for both to build up a strong showing in the tournament. Neither have done well dating back to the US Open and with little time before the end of the current season, a title win for either woman would do well to settle down their recent inconsistencies.

Muguruza’s fall down the rankings means she's very unlikely to make the WTA Tour Finals and should she continue to drop, she'd miss the Elite Trophy competition too.

Garbine's quality too much for her compatriot

Sorrbies-Tormo almost had an early break in hand to start the match but Muguruza made her way back on serve to force deuce before an ace capped the victory in the first. She consolidated it with a triple break in the second and another hold to go up 3-0. The double break was soon in Muguruza’s hands overtaking her Spanish counterpart.

The 22-year-old wouldn’t stand for a complete shutout and fought in the fifth to get on the board with a game of her own. Sorrbies-Tormo rallied to deuce where she battled the 25-year old through two breaks before breaking back herself. Muguruza found herself in a battle for control as her opponent went on to hold in the sixth.

The fourth seed made it 5-2 but getting the break became difficult to attain. When she got back on serve in the ninth, the 25-year-old made sure to lock it down and complete the set in 52 minutes with set point opportunities. She had the first serve running well, earning 66% while winning three of four available break points. The push from that helped drag the disappointing return game she had.

During the break, both players decided to chat with their respective coaches to set up how the next set would flow and make necessary adjustments too. For Muguruza, she conducted the second with a break of Sorrbies-Tormo before holding in the second with only two points allowed. She captured her second double break of the match where it took three chances to get it done.

It was a 4-0 run for the world number 12 as she hoped to keep the 22-year-old out of scoring in the set and finish with a big statement. Sorrbies-Tormo had other ideas and proved it with a serve to love in the fifth to avoid an embarrassing bagel.

She tried to bring together a break in the following game but Muguruza wasn’t ready to drop a service game in the set. She rallied to deuce where it took her only two breaks to secure the fifth game putting Sorrbies-Tormo under pressure to stay alive in the match. A double fault started the downfall for the 22-year-old who quickly found herself down 0-40. With three match points in hand, the fourth seed played a short rally until Sorrbies-Tormo created an error on the forehand that put the ball into the net ending the match after an hour and 26 minutes.

With her game clicking from an offensive standpoint, the world number 12 would try to add upon that as she faces American Caroline Dolehide in the second round.

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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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