Fixture: Garbine Muguruza vs Nao Hibino
Date: 1 September 2020
Tournament: US Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $39,024,000
Match timing: 11 am EDT, 8:30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports & Hotstar
Garbine Muguruza vs Nao Hibino preview
2020 Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza will begin her campaign at this year’s US Open against Japan’s Nao Hibino on Tuesday.
This would be the Spaniard’s first professional tournament since the Qatar Open back in February. However, the more pressing matter for Muguruza would be her ankle injury which prompted her to pull out of the recently concluded Western & Southern Open.
It remains to be seen if she’s recovered well enough in the past couple of weeks to pose a considerable threat at the US Open.
Muguruza did exceptionally well at this year’s Australian Open where she was just a set away from lifting the title. Unfortunately she couldn’t close out the match against Sofia Kenin and had to settle for second place.
The Spaniard will definitely be looking to replicate that form to try and win her maiden Grand Slam on her least favourite surface.
Nao Hibino, on the other hand, hasn’t got much going for her this year as she’s had very few wins on the tour. Her greatest achievement came at this year’s Australian Open as well where she went past three qualifying rounds and the first round before losing to Maria Sakkari in the round of 64.
Needless to say, the Japanese faces an uphill task even against a potentially depleted Muguruza.
Garbine Muguruza vs Nao Hibino head-to-head
Garbine Muguruza leads Nao Hibino by 2-0 in the head-to-head. Both of their matches took place in the year 2016 with the Spaniard winning handsomely on both occasions.
Such was Muguruza’s dominance that Hibino never succeeded in winning more than two games against the former Wimbledon champion.
Garbine Muguruza vs Nao Hibino prediction
Muguruza is known to be one of the cleanest strikers of the ball when in form. Her baseline play is second to none as she has the ability to dictate play off both wings. The Spaniard prefers to hit the ball really hard and flat causing great difficulty to most on tour.
Add to that her powerful serve and Muguruza becomes a very fearsome opponent on all surfaces. This year’s fast courts at the Flushing Meadows may well prove to be a blessing for Muguruza who likes pace in the rallies.
Nao Hibino really doesn’t have much of an option against Muguruza except to try and force out the errors from the Spaniard. The former French Open champion is one of the most error-prone players on tour on both serve as well as groundstrokes.
That factor coupled with Muguruza’s ankle might just allow Hibino to perhaps fight for a set but the former’s superior quality will see her through.
Prediction: Muguruza in two sets.Published 30 Aug 2020, 20:48 IST