Date: 22 October 2021
Tournament: VTB Kremlin Cup
Venue: Moscow, Russia
Category: WTA 500
Prize money: $565,530
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Garbine Muguruza vs Anett Kontaveit preview
Second seed Garbine Muguruza will face off against ninth seed Anett Kontaveit in the quarterfinals of the Kremlin Cup on Friday.
Muguruza battled past Tereza Martincova in three tough sets, winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to advance to her seventh quarterfinal of the season. The Spaniard went down an early break in the first set to fall behind 4-1. But she won the next five games to take the set 6-4.
The script was reversed in the second set, with Muguruza going up a break but failing to hold on to her lead and losing the set 6-4. However, the former World No. 1 upped her level in the last set to win the match.
After a brilliant start to the year, Muguruza's season was derailed by injuries. She appeared to have rediscovered some form when she won the WTA 500 event in Chicago, but the Spaniard then suffered an opening-round loss at Indian Wells to Ajla Tomljanovic.
The two-time Grand Slam winner, however, got her campaign back on track in Moscow and will be eyeing a deep run.
Anett Kontaveit, meanwhile, continued her red-hot form, easily dispatching Andrea Petkovic 6-1 6-4 in her previous match. The Estonian missed out on a first-set bagel when she failed to capitalize on a set point on the German's serve, and needed four set points on her own serve later to win the opener.
Petkovic started the second set strongly and went up a break, but couldn't sustain her level as Kontaveit leveled things immediately and eventually built up a lead to win the match.
The 25-year-old is in a rich vein of form. She built up a nine-match winning streak, including a title at the Ostrava Open, which came to an end in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells against Ons Jabeur.
Kontaveit still has a shot at qualifying for the WTA Finals, but a title in Moscow is a must for that to happen.
Garbine Muguruza vs Anett Kontaveit head-to-head
Garbine Muguruza and Anett Kontaveit have played thrice before, with the head-to-head 2-1 in the Spaniard's favor. Muguruza won their previous encounter at the 2017 Roland Garros in three tough sets.
Garbine Muguruza vs Anett Kontaveit prediction
Both Garbine Muguruza and Anett Kontaveit are big hitters who like to dictate play from the back of the court. They possess strong serves, though at times the Spaniard is a little inconsistent.
Kontaveit would do well to target Muguruza's forehand, which is her weaker wing and tends to break down under pressure. The former World No. 1, on her part, will be hoping to clean up her game after a rather messy opening round. Considering the Estonian's recent form, it's going to be an uphill battle for the Spaniard in this quarterfinal clash.
Prediction: Kontaveit to win in three sets.