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Olympics 2021: Garbine Muguruza vs Elena Rybakina preview, head-to-head & prediction

Garbine Muguruza
Garbine Muguruza
Gauri Awasthi
ANALYST

Match details

Fixture: (7) Garbine Muguruza [ESP] vs (15) Elena Rybakina [KAZ]

Date: 28 July 2021

Tournament: Olympics 2021

Round: Quarterfinals

Venue: Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan

Category: Olympic Games

Surface: Outdoor hard

Match timing: Approx. 3 pm local time, 11.30 am IST, 6 am GMT, 2 am EST

Live telecast: USA - NBC & Peacock TV | UK - BBC TV | India - Sony Sports Network/Sony LIV

Garbine Muguruza vs Elena Rybakina preview

Seventh seed Garbine Muguruza will take on 15th seed Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday. While Muguruza registered a comfortable 6-4, 6-1 victory over Alison Van Uytvanck in the third round, Rybakina battled to a 7-6(3), 6-4 win over Donna Vekic.

Muguruza started her 2021 season by reaching the final of the Yarra Valley Classic in Melbourne. She then finished runner-up in Doha before lifting the trophy in Dubai for her first title since 2019. The results enabled her to return to the top 10 for the first time in three years.

After a disappointing clay and grasscourt swing, the Spaniard seems to have rediscovered her best form in Tokyo. Appearing at her second Olympic Games, Muguruza has already improved on her third-round showing in Rio five years ago.

The two-time Grand Slam champion has not lost a single set so far in Tokyo and is looking to become the first Spaniard since Rafael Nadal (Beijing 2008) to win an Olympic medal in singles.

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina

Elena Rybakina, meanwhile, has recovered after a dismal start to the season. She made her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinals at Roland Garros last month and backed it up with a run to the semifinals in Berlin. She also has two top-10 wins under her belt this season, including an upset victory over Serena Williams in Paris.

Seeded 15th, Rybakina is competing in the Games for the first time in her career and is hoping to become the first player from Kazakhstan to win an Olympic medal in tennis.

Garbine Muguruza vs Elena Rybakina head-to-head

The only previous meeting between Garbine Muguruza and Elena Rybakina came earlier this year in Berlin, where the Spaniard claimed a 6-4, 6-3 win. Hence, the head-to-head stands at 1-0 in favor of Muguruza.

Garbine Muguruza vs Elena Rybakina prediction

Garbine Muguruza and Elena Rybakina are both aggressive baseliners who like to take the ball early and hit plenty of winners. Rybakina possesses heavier groundstrokes than Muguruza and will look to force the Spaniard onto the back foot from the get-go.

Garbine Muguruza
Garbine Muguruza

Both women also possess strong first serves. In their respective third-round matches, they barely conceded any break points and kept their double fault-count in check. Rybakina also has the ability to fire aces at will.

Muguruza, on her part, will rely on her rock-solid backhand to do most of the heavy lifting in the match. But the Spaniard is prone to mental lapses and if she drops her level against Rybakina, the Kazakh will be quick to pounce.

Prediction: Elena Rybakina to win in straight sets.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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