Garbine Muguruza conducts near flawless match at Nature Valley Classic
Garbine Muguruza was on fire to open her tournament at the Nature Valley Classic Tuesday. The Spaniard saw some tough moments from Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but beat her down in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 on Ann Jones Centre Court at Edgbaston Prior Club. It was Muguruza’s 25th career grass court win and one she was proud to achieve.
The Spaniard led the series 3-1 with their first grass court match coming into play. This was Muguruza’s first grass court tournament of the year, taking time off since her semifinal loss to French Open champion Simona Halep in the semis.
With a Wimbledon title to defend in the coming weeks, the 24-year-old would need all the time on grass to achieve wins with her first against the Russian. Pavlyuchenkova doesn’t have strong numbers on the surface but would no doubt try and cause her opponent issues from the first shot of the match.
She found herself in a hole as Muguruza swept her opening serve out of the way and earned a double break point win in the second.
After taking a 3-0 lead, the Russian got one on serve but was still in trouble as the Spaniard had her own locked down. She held in the fifth regaining her three-game lead on Pavlyunchenkova before taking the next two in a flash ending 30 minutes of play.
The world No.3 wasted no time rushing her way through the 26-year-old who didn’t have much to show in the set. She managed eight of 13 points from the first serve and five of 21 from the return side indicating her struggle to counteract Muguruza. Her eight unforced errors were enough for the Spaniard to dictate in the set and looked for more going forward.
She witnessed Pavlyunchenkova digging into the second set with a hold to open things up. She couldn’t hold her end for long as Muguruza pounded out a break against the Russian’s service game picking up where she left off.
Another good service game made it 3-1 for the 24-year-old who showed the most comfortable on the court. Pavlyuchenkova gained a positive moment in the fifth completing her first serve to love over Muguruza.
It remained a two-game margin for the world number three who inched closer to a straight sets before making it three with a double break in the sixth.
It gave her a comfortable chance at serving for the match with two points which ended on a return wide of the line from the Russian ending her tournament in 59 minutes.
“It’s exciting to play on grass because it’s very unique,” Muguruza said after the match. “We only play here in England one month on grass and it feels weird.” “I’m pleased with my first match on grass this season and Anastasia is a great player as well and happy that I could control the match.” She’ll prepare to face either Jennifer Brady or Barbora Strycova on Thursday.
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