While her contemporaries are taking selfies, she’s taking Center Court. When her friends go to the mall, she goes to the practice court. As most teenagers try to beat a video game, she tries to beat a Top 10 player. While the latter didn’t happen, 17-year-old Kayla Day put on an amazing show in the Desert, after getting into the BNP Paribas via a Wild Card. The experts agree it’s not an if, but a when. Day dazzled in the Desert and her combined poise and prowess led her to a first set win 6-3 over current World #7 Garbine Muguruza.
An Amazing Day in the Desert
The second set continued with Day’s hard-hitting lefty forehand pushing Muguruza off the baseline and scrambling for court position. Day’s serve rocketed up the middle gaining her a short reply from her opponent. It seemed she was positioned for her first win over a Top 10 opponent until 5-all. Muguruza reminded us why she’s a Grand Slam Champion (French Open 2016), and took the next two games to take the set 7-5. A 3rd set would now decide the match, and Muguruza was in top form. Upping her first serve percentage and hitting the ball through the court allowed Muguruza to claim two breaks and eliminate the threat in the form of Day.
While her tennis game is mature, her emotions aren’t, and Day’s disappointment was visible. When asked about it after the match Day said: “Yeah. Obviously I was pretty upset after my match, because it didn’t go the way I wanted it in the end, but if you look at the big picture, I was able to push a Top-10 player really far. I’m really happy with the way I played.” With more experience and a capable coach in the form of Henner Nehles, Day will find her way through.
Muguruza moves on to the 4th round where she’ll meet Elina Svitolina, hot off her Dubai title. When asked about her difficult draw and next opponent, Svitolina, Muguruza said, ” I think we have played actually a couple of times already, and I think it’s–I think she’s playing very good. She’s going to be a very tough opponent. She just got to the Top 10 as well. That’s a sign. It’s going to be difficult, yeah.” If she makes it through Svitolina, it’s likely Karolina Pliskova who will be waiting in what would be a blockbuster quarterfinal matchup.