Muguruza Edges Past Garcia to Book Qatar Semis Spot

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Garbine Muguruza

Garbine Muguruza won a topsy-turvy Qatar Total Open quarter-final 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, against Caroline Garcia in a match where both players exchanged superiority.

Caroline Garcia showing glimpses of her best

There were signs at the Australian Open of recovery from injury by world #8 Garcia. However, this recovery was interrupted in controversial fashion in St. Petersburg when Garcia’s match against up-and-coming Elena Rybakina ended on a controversial umpire call.

When Garcia went a break down in the final set through Muguruza’s persistence, it became too big a mountain to climb. Consequently, the slide from 67 percent to 37 percent on first service points won by Garcia between the first and second set, allowed Muguruza a focus point. Muguruza seized momentum to see out the match 6-4 in the third. Arguably though, Garcia will take more positives from this match.
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Match plays out like a game of Kerplunk

Inevitably a third set was needed to separate these two quality players. The shape of the match became akin to a Kerplunk game between two intensely tactical players. They both knew each other’s strengths and there was a desire to unsettle the other by suddenly being bold. This made for a match high in entertainment.

Aggressive net-charging was punished with precision passing shots. Preparation for Wimbledon definitely had to be taken off the agenda.

Garbine Muguruza puts Australian Open shock behind her

World #3, Garbine Muguruza possesses a deftness of touch around the court. Sending out a message that the defeat to Su-Wei Hsieh in Melbourne was just a blip. Her sights will firmly be on grabbing back the #1 spot from Caroline Wozniacki. Going forward, a Muguruza versus an in-form Petra Kvitova match here would be a spectator’s delight.

With Simona Halep withdrawing from the Qatar Open semi-finals, Garbine Muguruza advances to Sunday’s final.

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