Garbine Muguruza became another victim at the hands of the American at the Toray Pan Pacific Open Wednesday. Alison Riske looked unstoppable in her dominating performance that saw her maintaining the serve that took down last year’s semifinalist in a 6-1, 6-2 straight sets score on center court at the Arena Tachikawa Tachihi in Tokyo.
The series between the two stands in favor of the Spaniard who took her second straight over the American earlier this season in Monterrey. With a hard court advantage leaning her way and the victory over Belinda Bencic Tuesday, the 24-year-old was determined to keep her winning ways active in Japan. Riske used her power shots to take down Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets to prepare for the third meeting in the hopes to turn the record books in a different direction. Getting herself ahead on the score would be one element to gain leverage with in order to defeat the world number 14.
The two opened with service holds before a break by the American made it 2-1. Muguruza got into trouble against the hard-hitting forehand that produced a serve to love for Riske in the fourth. The margin was growing between Muguruza and her opponent, which saw her call Sam Sumyk who gave his solution on how to deal with getting Riske to become uncomfortable. It didn’t come to her soon enough as Riske with a double break on the Spaniard opened three game points to get it done with an open court smash.
With little left to do in the set, Muguruza served to keep things going but handed Riske three set points winning it on a smash into the net from the former world number one. It was a 27 minute upset for the American who only missed two points on her first serve and two from the second indicating her dominance. It was a massive hit on Muguruza’s return game that produced 18 percent and an offense well under 50 percent.
Riske continued her supremacy of the match with a hold of serve to start the second making it a six-game winning streak. She added another break to her bottom line as Muguruza was showing significant vulnerabilities. She put together a win for herself in the fourth, but it was short lived to turn it into anything else as Riske continued to march toward a win. Muguruza double-faulted for the first time in the match that took the wind out of her sails.
Just when it looked as if Riske would put the cap on her second round, another victory went into the hands of Muguruza who gained a break for a second win. She would not get a third despite the tremendous fight put in that finished with another double fault ending her run just slightly over an hour.
“I’m definitely excited,” said Riske during her on-court interview. “It’s always a tough match playing against anyone out here on tour, but I was just really happy with how I played and looked really solid and excited to be here another day.”
She will get ready to take on fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals Thursday.