Garbine Muguruza Stuns Halep To End Spain’s 22-Year Wait For A Women’s Australian Open Finalist - UBITENNIS
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Garbine Muguruza Stuns Halep To End Spain’s 22-Year Wait For A Women’s Australian Open Finalist

The two-time grand slam champion produced a gutsy display to send the world No.3 packing in Melbourne Park.

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Garbine Muguruza is through to her first grand slam final in almost three years after ousting third seed Simona Halep in a thrilling encounter at the Australian Open.

 

Muguruza, who is unseeded in Melbourne Park this year for the first time since 2014, overcame some stern resistance from across the court to prevail 7-6(8), 7-5. Sending her into her first grand slam final since Wimbledon 2017 and her first ever on Australian soil. The encounter saw Muguruza hit 39 winners to 44 unforced errors as she saved 10 out of the 13 break point she faced. Extending her winning head-to-head record against Halep to 4-2.

“I was thinking keep going and at some point I will have an opportunity. I knew it would be a hard match facing Simona. So it was just about hanging in there and fighting with all the energy that I had.” Muguruza said during her on-court interview.

Despite being separated by 29 places in the WTA rankings, there was little disparity between the two players throughout a roller-coaster opening set. In what was a battle of the former world No.1s, Muguruza was able to tame Halep’s attacking play with her own powerful shot-making. The Spaniard first struck in the seventh game of the match after a backhand drive volley granted her the first break for a 4-3 lead. In control, Muguruza’s first attempt to close the set out was unsuccessful after a tentative service game enabled a fired up Halep to break back and eventually level at 5-5. It was then Mugurza’s turn to have the pressure as she fended off a duo of set points en route to a tiebreak.

Continuing the trend of momentum changes, both players had their opportunities to clinch the opener during the tiebreak. First, it was the Spaniard who had both a 3-0 advantage and two set points in her favour that she was unable to capitalise on.  Then Halep also had her chances, but failed to convert them. Eventually, it would be Muguruza who would prevail. Leading 9-8, she eventually snatched the first set with the help of a failed cross-court forehand shot from her rival crashing into the net. Much to the annoyance of the Romanian who smash her racket shortly after.

The cat and mouse chase continued into the second frame, but this time it was Halep who initially looked the better of the two. Breaking twice in a row to eventually open up a 4-2 lead before moving to a game away from forcing the match into a decider. However, Muguruza refused to buckle in the blistering Melbourne heat. Staging yet another comeback, she drew level at 5-5 with the help of a Halep shot drifting beyond the baseline. Back in contention, Muguruza then nudged ahead 6-5 before working her way to two match point opportunities. She failed in her first attempt, but victory was secured on her second after another Halep shot failed to go over the net.

“You start (the Australian Open) day-by-day and that what I was doing. Each match at a time.” Said the world No.32.
“I’m very excited to be in the final. It’s a long way to come and I have one more match on Saturday.”

Awaiting the 26-year-old next will be American rising star Sofia Kenin. Who stunned top seed Ash Barty earlier in the day to reach her first ever grand slam final. Muguruza lost to  the world No.14 in three sets (6-0, 2-6, 6-2) last year at the China Open. That was the only previous tour meeting between the two.

“I’ve played Garbine in Beijing. It was a tough match. She’s playing some really good tennis right now. She’s had some great wins. She’s not easy. She’s really aggressive.” Kenin previewed.

Muguruza is just the third Spanish woman to reach the Australian Open final in history and the first since 1998. When her current coach Conchita Martinez lost to Martina Hingis in the title match. Should she win the trophy on Sunday, she would become the first female player from her country to ever do so.

As a result of her run to the final, Muguruza will rise to at least 16th in the world rankings. Her highest position since March.

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Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos win their doubles team title in 2020 in Rome

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Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos clinched their third doubles team title in 2020 after beating Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin 6-4 5-7 10-8. They are the only team to win multiple ATP Tour trophies this year. 

 

Granollers and Zeballos won their second ATP Masters 1000 trophy as a team after lifting the Rogers Cup in Canada last year. They earned a championships point when Zeballos hit a forehand return winner at 8-8 in the Match Tie-Break. Zeballos and Granollers have improved their record on clay this season to 16-1. They won two consecutive titles in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero last February and reached the final in Kitzbuhel. 

“This is one of the best moments in my career. This tournament has a lot of history. I watched it for many years, since I was a little kid, so this tournament is really important. Winning Rome is a huge thing for me and for sure for Marcell too, so can I say ? I am so happy. You could see in our faces when we finished the match”, said Zeballos. 

“After Buenos Aires and Rio, I think we felt very good on clay playing together. We both grew up playing on clay when we were young and we feel very good on clay. I think we can play very good and we are very happy to win our third title of the year on clay”, said Granollers. 

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Diego Schwartzman battles past Denis Shapovalov to reach his first Masters 1000 in Rome

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Argentine’s Diego Schwartzman battled past Denis Shapovalov 6-4 5-7 7-6 after three hours and 15 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Schwartzman broke six times and hit 25 winners to 27 unforced errors. The Argentine held serve in the first game when Shapovalov hit a forehand error. Schwartzman broke serve at 15 when Shapovalov made a double fault in the second game. 

Schwartzman held his service game to open up a 3-0 lead when Shapovalov netted a forehand. Shapovalov held serve at love with a smash winner to claw his way back to 1-3. Both players went on serve in the next four games. Shapovalov forced an error from Schwartzman to convert his third break point, as the Argentine player was serving for the set at 5-3. Schwartzman sealed the first set 6-4 with a break in the 10th game after 48 minutes, as Shapovalov netted a forehand. 

Shapovalov earned two breaks and dropped his serve once to win the second set 7-5. Both players held serve in the first four games, before Shapovalov got the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Canadian player consolidated the break with a service winner for 4-2. 

Schwartzman saved two break points in the seventh game before Shapovalov held serve at 15 to build up a 5-3 lead. Schwartzman held serve at love in the ninth game and got the break back to draw level to 5-5, when Shapovalov made a double fault as he was serving for the set.

Schwartzman wasted a game point in the 11th game before dropping serve in the 11th game at deuce. Shapovalov fended off a set point and served out the set at deuce to force the match to the decider. 

Shapovalov saved three break points in the second game before breaking serve with a smash winner to take a 2-1 lead. Schwartzman broke straight back to draw level to 2-2. Shapovalov broke serve to take a 3-2 lead, as Schwarzman sent a forehand wide in the fifth game. Shapovalov held serve at 15 to build up a 4-2 lead. Schwartzman broke back in in the eighth game. Shapovalov got his third break in the decisive set with a volley winner. 

Schwartzman broke back to draw level to 5-5, as Shapovalov netted a backhand. They held serve in their next service game to send the match to the tie-break. Shapovalov got an early mini-break in the tie-break, but dropped his serve in the second point, when he sent a forehand wide. Schwartzman open up a 3-1 lead, when Shapovalov made a double fault and hit a drop shot error. 

Shapovalov got the mini-break back, but he made a forehand error to fall behind 2-4. Shapovalov drew level to 4-4 when Schwartzman hit a backhand wide. Schwartzman took a 5-4 lead, as Shapovalov made a backhand error. 

Schwartzman opened up a 6-4 lead after a forehand wide from Shapovalov and converted his first match point to reach his first Masters 1000 final. 

“I am very happy. I think today was a crazy match. It was really tough for us. On my side I am very happy because I won the match. I have two dreams tomorrow. One is winning a tournamnent like this and the secondo ne is being top 10. I need to play more than my 100 per cent. I don’t want to say i twill be impossible because it is not impossible. I know I can beat him, but it’s going to be difficult.”, said Schwartzman.  

Schwartzman will face Novak Djokovic in tomorrow’s final. If the Argentine wins the title match, he will break into the top 10. 

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Karolina Pliskova wins all-Czech semifinal against

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Defending champion Karolina Pliskova cruised past 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4 on the Central Court after 82 minutes to set up a final against Simona Halep at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome.

 

Pliskova has reached her second consecutive final in the Eternal City. 

Pliskova had already beat Vondrusova last year in Miami en route to reaching the final, where she lost to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty. 

Pliskova got her first break in the fourth game to open a 4-1 lead. Vondrousova earned a break point in the seventh game, but Pliskova saved it with an overhead. Vondrousova saved two set points in the eighth game, but she faced a third chance after a forehand error. Pliskova broke serve with a backhand return on her third set point. 

Vondrousova broke serve in the first game of the second set with backhand. Pliskova broke straight back in the second game at deuce and saved two break point in the third game to hold serve for 2-1. Pliskova converted her third break point chance in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Vondrousova broke straight back at 15 and held her service game to draw level to 4-4. Pliskova saved a break point to hold serve for 5-4 and sealed the win with a break at 30 in the 10th game. 

Pliskova set up a final against Simona Halep, who beat Garbine Muguruza in the first semifinal. Pliskova won her last two head-to-head against Halep in 2019 in Miami and at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, but Halep leads 7-5.  

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