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WTA Shenzhen 2020: Garbine Muguruza rallies late to defeat Xinyu Wang

Rudy Martinez
Published 06 Jan 2020, 12:09 IST
06 Jan 2020, 12:09 IST

Garbine Muguruz
Garbine Muguruz

Garbine Muguruza found her experience the key to victory at the Shenzhen Open on Monday. The former world number one waited for her chance to break ahead, doing so in the final set that gave her the 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over Xinyu Wang on Centre Court at the Shenzhen Longgang Sports Center. The Spaniard recorded eight aces finishing with a 71 percent first serve to advance.

This was their first meeting and an important starting block for the Spaniard. After her dismal finish to 2019, winning only one of her last seven matches and splitting with coach Sam Sumyk, the 26-year-old is already writing a new chapter. With legendary tennis star Conchita Martinez in her camp, Muguruza was eying to do better than her first-round finish in 2013.

Wang earned the honor serving first and didn’t blow her chance to impress the former world number one with a hold. She nearly had a break under her belt, but Muguruza rallied from 40-15 down, taking three points. Wang responded with a serve to love and soon captured the coveted break to sit 3-1 after four. A hold opened Wang to three games over Muguruza before the 26-year-old cut the margin in half in the sixth.

Wang continued her grip on the set taking the seventh with ease, pressuring Muguruza to drop another service game. Wang’s crosscourt groundstrokes were the key to reaching set point, but an ace from the Spaniard forced deuce. She was forced to play three more breaks before a shot to lock down the game arrived on Wang’s unforced error. The Chinese teen wasted no time reaching set point but double-faulted for the first time. An error brought her down to one set point remaining but managed to hold after a ten-shot rally ended with Muguruza slicing the ball ending the first in 36 minutes. 

The players opened the second set with service holds through five with Muguruza eyeing a break to love opportunity in the sixth. She failed to keep leverage in the following rally giving Wang the chance to close the gap. The 18-year-old forced deuce and held serve to remain level. Muguruza was still on the hunt to level the match, and with a hold in the seventh, she pressed Wang to falter on serve in the eighth. With three set points, the 26-year-old scored the victory in 35 minutes that enabled her to go the distance with the Chinese teen vulnerable.

It showed in the deciding set with Muguruza winning the first three games as Wang’s game looked flat through 12 minutes. Muguruza continued her breeze through another service game with a 4-0 hold. Unforced errors from Wang added a fifth straight for the Spaniard, who would serve for the match feeling no worries of what was to come. Unforced errors rocked the Chinese teen into submission, giving the former world number one a big win to start the new year.

“It was not my best start,” Muguruza said after the match. “I think she was playing great, and I had to wait for my opportunities and just stay in the match.” I had to come back and bring some different to the match because it wasn’t going my way.

She’ll try to gain more time to find control in her second-round match going against Americans Shelby Rogers or Nicole Gibbs.

Modified 08 Jan 2020, 12:38 IST
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