Garbine Muguruza Ready To Break Her Madrid Jinx - UBITENNIS
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Garbine Muguruza Ready To Break Her Madrid Jinx

The former world No.1 is looking to break new ground at her home tournament

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Garbine Muguruza (zimbio.com)

Playing in a home tournament is a highlight of many players’ careers, but for Garbine Muguruza it is also one that frustrates her.

Next week the Wimbledon champion returns to the Caja Magica, venue of the Madrid Open. The most prestigious tennis tournament in Spain. It will be Muguruza’s sixth consecutive appearance at the event. Despite being a two-time grand slam champion and former world No.1, her record in Madrid is far from spectacular. She is yet to progress beyond the second round of the event.

“I do not know what happens in Madrid.” She told reporters on Thursday.
“Whenever I come to play here I am happy because it is the only women’s tournament we have in Spain and it is very important. I’m going to see if this year I’m going to do a little better,” she added.

In total Muguruza has only won three main draw matches in Madrid. Last year she crashed out in straight sets to Timea Bacsinszky in the first round. Some have speculated that the poor record is due to the amount of pressure piled onto the Spanish No.1. Currently, she is the only top 20 player from her country and one of only three in the top 100. Since becoming a Premier Mandatory event in 2009, a Spanish woman is yet to reach the final of the Madrid Open.

“In Madrid you play with more pressure, but it is also true that there were days that I did not feel well, I did not finish adapting (to the conditions) … I can not find the reason or the recipe but I do not lose the illusion of coming and playing well because in Madrid I only played in this tournament and the Fed Cup.”

The conditions of the event is is a stark contrast to that of the French Open. Madrid is more than 650m above sea level. Meaning that the speed of balls moves much quicker compared to other clay court tournaments. Handing an advantage to the more aggressive players on the tour.

Beside a poor record, there is also an injury cloud looming over Muguruza’s head. At the Stuttgart Open she was forced to withdraw from the second round due to a back problem. Although she is confident that will not hamper her next week.

“I’m better, it’s a nuisance that I’ve had since the Fed Cup but I’m encouraged because I feel better than in Stuttgart,” she said.

Muguruza is currently ranked third in the world behind Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki.

Muguruza’s Madrid record
2012 – R1
2013 – R2 (qualifying tournament)
2014 – R2
2015 – R2
2016 – R2
2017 – R1

 

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Camila Giorgi advances to the semifinals, as Victoria Azarenka withdraws from the match

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World Number 37 Camila Giorgi has advanced to the semifinal of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo after Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the quarter final match due to illness, while she was trailing 3-5 after just 28 minutes in the opening set. Giorgi has extended her win-loss record in her head-to-head matches against Azarenka.

Giorgi hit 10 winners to 4 unforced errors and converted both break points to reach the Tokyo Toray Open semifinal for the first time in her career. She set up a semifinal clash against this year’s US Open champion Naomi Osaka, who beat Barbora Strycova scoring her ninth consecutive win.

Azarenka earned the first break of the match in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Giorgi pulled the break back to love with a forehand return with a forehand return winner.

The Italian player hit a forehand reurn winner to pull the break back and won eight consecutive points to hold her next service game at love with a backhand volley winner.

Giorgi broke serve at love to open up a 5-3 lead before Azarenka was forced to withdraw from the match.

“The crowd are great here in Tokyo and it’s a real pleasure to play in front of the Japanese fans. Naomi Osaka is strong and powerful and I will play and focus on my game”, said Giorgi.

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Ekaterina Alexandrova upsets defending champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter finals in Seoul

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World number 122 Ekaterina Alexandrova upset 2017 Roland Garros champion and defending champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-2 after 71 minutes in a match delayed by rain to clinch the first top 10 win of her career at the KEB Hana Bank in Seoul.

Before today’s match Alexandrova has never won in her three head-to-head matches against to-10 players. Alexandrova converted five of her eight break point chances and won 79 first serve points.

The 23-year-old Russian player set up a tough semifinal clash against Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Su-wei, who lifted the Hiroshima last week.

Ostapenko held serve in the first game with two consecutive aces, but she dropped her serve after a double fault. Alexandrova saved a break point to hold serve for a 3-1 lead. Ostapenko broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, as Alexandrova made a double fault. Alexandrova came back from 15-40 down to break again on her second chance with a forehand crosscourt winner.

Alexandrova earned three set points at 5-3, when Ostapenko hit a backhand wide. The Russian player hit a crosscourt backhand return winner to break serve at love.

In the second set Alexandrova got a break to open up a 3-1 lead, when Ostapenko made one of six double faults on the break point. Alexandrova held her serve to race out to a 4-1 lead after a hard-fought game. She hit a forehand winner to hold her serve for 5-2 in the seventh game and earned three match points with another forehand winner. She converted her first chance with a backhand return winner.

“I think it was a good match. I played well, and she also played well. I am just happy it worked out like this”, said Alexandrova.

Irina Camelia Begu beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-3 to reach her third quarter finals this year.Number 2 seed Kiki Bertens edged past Jakupovic Dalila 6-4 7-5.

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Camila Giorgi beats Caroline Wozniacki to score the ninth top 10 win in Tokyo

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This year’s Wimbledon quarter finalist Camila Giorgi came back from one set down in the third set to knock out Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 2-6 6-4 at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo scoring the ninth win over a top 10 player in her career. With this win the Italian player has reached the quarter finals.

Giorgi broke this year’s Australian Open champion and former world number 1 player Caroline Woznaicki twice in the first five games of the opening set. Giorgi fired 16 winners to Wozniacki’s 4 in the first set.

Wozniacki, who was playing her first match since losing to Lesla Tsurenko in the second round of the US Open, fended off all nine break points (including six in the first two games, one in the first game and five in the second game at 1-1) and broke serve twice to clinch the second set 6-2.

Wozniacki reeled off eight of the first nine points of the decider to open up a 2-0 lead with a break of serve. Giorgi fought back from 0-30 down to break back. The Italian got the decisive break lead in the seventh game to draw level to 3-3 in her six career head-to-head matches against Wozniacki. Giorgi converted on four of her sixteen break points and hit 45 winners to 29 unforced errors.

The Italian player will take on former Australian Open champion and past world number 1 player Victoria Azarenka, who beat Ashley Barty scoring her first first win against a top 20 player in six months.

Giorgi has scored her ninth career win against a top 10 player and the the first on hard court since she beat Agnieszka Radwanska in Katowice 2015. It’s also the fourth win over a top 5 player and the first since beating Elina Svitolina in Birmingham in 2017.

Giorgi has won 23rd match this year and achieved her best result in her third appearance in Tokyo.

“I will just focus on my game, like always, and I will hope to play like this, very consistent”, said Giorgi.

 

 

 

 

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