Garbine Muguruza played another terrific match that went into the late hours of the Qatar Total Open Wednesday. The Spaniard found her moment to attack late in her straight-sets win over Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-4 on centre court at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex. She has entered the quarterfinals in every tournament she has appeared in so far (5).
The players met for the fourth time with the young Ukrainian gaining the edge in their series. Her victory in Dubai was their longest played between the two making their next match important for Muguruza.
The Spaniard looked to even the series with her formidable gameplay that had been dominant of recent. Taking down Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday, allowed her to be more focused and ready to challenge Yastremska.
The teen earned a big win over Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin getting a straight-sets win. With her grip on the Spaniard, she would try to open the winning streak against her as well.
Both had comfortable service games through the first four games indicating their control against one another. A break for Muguruza came in the fifth, where she caught a break on double faults by the Ukrainian.
The Spaniard consolidated, dictating heavily on the offensive side of her game for the service to love. A double break for the 11th seed was achieved, as the 19-year-old dropped her offense, letting Muguruza force her way through.
Yastremska took a conference during the changeover with Sascha Baijin, who tried to keep her in the competition. Muguruza rallied to victory on serve in the eighth, taking the set in 31 minutes. Yastremska's unforced errors were four times more than Muguruza, suggesting that the former world number one’s middle game was working.
She followed Yastemska’s near-flawless service game, but on serve in the third, a double fault caused her to be broken, giving the Spaniard a 2-1 lead. The Spaniard consolidated it with a hold in the fourth, just before her game was under attack.
The Ukrainian held in the fifth and consolidated it with a break to love of Muguruza. The 19-year old’s offense loosened up enough to give the 11th seed the break back, giving her the lead once more.
Four consecutive breaks of serve were in the books in the second set that included the longest game of the match.
Yastremska saved a breakpoint in the ninth but couldn’t put the game away on three AD point chances. The tables turned in favor of the Spaniard who got it locked down for the 5-4 lead and serve for the match.
Muguruza flew through her service in the tenth, smashing shots across the court to reach match points. A long return from the Ukrainian ended things in 1 hour and ten minutes.
“I’m very happy because every match is different and very tough,” Muguruza said after the match.
It only got tougher as she would go all-in against world number one Ashleigh Barty in her effort to continue fighting for the title in Doha.
“I’m very excited,” replied Muguruza when asked about her Thursday night match. “I think it’s a challenge to play the best player right now, and I’m very looking forward for another match.”
Published 27 Feb 2020, 03:05 IST