Garbine Muguruza got her revenge and a solid win to start the Wuhan Open Monday afternoon. A straight sets win arrived for the former world number one as she easily took down Alison van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-0 on centre court at the Optical Valley International Tennis Center. Muguruza’s offence was at a high rate from start to finish that gave her a great reason to earn a shutout against the Belgian who had 30 unforced errors.
The two last met on the hard courts four years ago in what was their first three-set battle that went the Spaniard’s way. A match at Wimbledon gave van Uytvanck her first win over the defending champion making this a perfect time for the 24-year-old to avenge the loss. She didn’t do well in Tokyo losing in the round of 16. While she wouldn’t face the level of hits her last opponent put down, the world number 12 would have to stay on her toes to prevent another early exit from the tournament.
She began the opening set playing comfortably against the Belgian who didn’t have the same level of success but remained in a fight early. They held serve through four games with Muguruza continuing to lead the way. After holding again in the fifth, the tables turned for the Spaniard breaking van Uytvanck to take a 4-2 lead. The Belgian nearly had a break back but watched as Muguruza saved the point to force deuce. She won the AD point on a challenge before capping the seventh to play for the set.
Hoping to prevent the end from coming, van Uytvanck took a chat with David Basile giving her advice on how to hold serve and keep the set going for herself. She delivered big with the winners that gave her an easy win with a second ace. She defended Muguruza in the ninth which led to the Spaniard taking a conference with Sam Sumyk on keys to close it out. With his pitch of one point at a time, the world number 12 achieved the victory against van Uytvanck’s poor service game that gave her the lead of the match after 45 minutes.
Muguruza created a short rally of points that summed up to ten in a row before she gave van Uytvanck a point in the second game. It didn’t help her to hold serve as she rushed her returns in the second to fall 0-2. The set was very much out of her control as the Spaniard was in the zone intent on ending the match quickly with the momentum built. Finding herself out of sorts, van Uytvanck called back Basile to get an idea on how to counter the action.
It never came to her as Muguruza’s game was in fine form showing her tenacity, strengths, and aggression to bring a close to the match. With a 5-0 run, the Spaniard brought her opponent to a quick close as she reached two match points to get an important strong win in 66 minutes. “I was excited for this match,” Muguruza said during her on-court interview. “We played recently and she won so I wanted to win this time.” When she was asked about her physical health, the Spaniard had a confident answer for the remainder of the season.
“I’ve been competing, I feel good and as athletes, we always have pain everywhere but I’m happy that I’m healthy.” Muguruza will await her second-round match that would put her against qualifiers Viktorija Golubic or Sara Sorribes Tormo.