Garbine Muguruza Qualifies For Singapore

Garbine Muguruza qualifies for Singapore after beating Niculescu in Linz
Spain's Garbine Muguruza reacts during her match against Romania's Monica Niculescu at the Generali Ladies Tennis Tournament in Linz, Austria, on October 13, 2016. / AFP / APA / HELMUT FOHRINGER / Austria OUT (Photo credit should read HELMUT FOHRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Another qualifying spot has been confirmed for the upcoming event at the year ending Championships in Singapore. Spain’s Garbine Muguruza becomes the sixth player to successfully qualify for one of the most prestigious events of the year. She confirmed her place with a brilliant and dominant win against Romania’s Monica Niculescu 6-1 6-1 late into the night in Linz.

The difficulty of backing up a great season in professional sport

Muguruza’s qualification represents her second time in Singapore. Being one of the elite eight in Singapore may feel even sweeter than last year for a number of reasons. Many professional athletes find it hard to come to terms with their second season after a breakout year in the season prior. You see it in professional sport around the world, where notable football players feel the pressure of maintaining a high level, but you also have to look from the opponents perspective.

In the first season, many players would not have known much about Garbine Muguruza. In the second season however, they have gathered greater intel on the strengths and flaws of the Spaniard. That is something that many have failed to acknowledge, which further illustrates how impressive it is that at just 23 years of age she is excelling at the highest level.

Garbine Muguruza’s road to Singapore

The road has not been easy. Muguruza has only won 13 matches since the standout victory at Roland Garros and has not come close to a significant scalp reminiscent of the triumph over the world #1 Serena Williams. But, Muguruza putting herself in the position to play the very best in the world can only be a good thing moving into the 2017 season, where she will have to be a lot more consistent to consolidate a top five finish in the rankings.

Garbine Muguruza to play Viktorija Golubic in tomorrow’s Linz quarterfinal

She now plays a quarter-final match against Viktorija Golubic tomorrow in Linz – a player that she has not competed against in the past. Golubic has a beautiful, timeless, one-handed backhand but the most impressive thing about that shot is that it is a very stable weapon. In previous years, players with one-handed backhands have the flair, power and effectiveness but have not usually possessed the reliability that Golubic has with that stroke.

Golubic has played a great amount of her career on the ITF circuit but has risen to prominence in 2016 with a memorable title win in Gstaad. She also performed well in Fed Cup, beating a top 20 player in Karolina Pliskova.

Garbine Muguruza should still get the better of Golubic tomorrow because of her star quality but it will be interesting to see if Muguruza can pick herself up for a tennis match after finding out she is already in Singapore. She has to put on a professional performance against a tricky opponent.

Muguruza and Golubic are set to square off in the second night match on friday night scheduled after 6.30pm local time.

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