Garbiñe Muguruza has taken down a former world No. 1 player at the Australian Open to earn a spot in a Grand Slam quarterfinals for the first time in her career…
The 20-year-old Spanish/Venezuelan professional tennis player defeated No. 10 seed Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a third round match at Melbourne Park on Saturday.
The little-known Muguruza, who moved up to a career best No. 38 in the world rankings after winning her first career WTA singles title at the Moorilla Hobart International earlier this month, stormed back after losing a close first set with some serious sharp-shooting and aggressive play on the court. In the end, Muguruza ended up hitting twice as many winners as Wozniacki.
At one point, Muguruza was up 5-1 in the decider. Her nerves kicked in, allowing Wozniacki to win two straight games. But Muguruza composed herself to serve out the game, set and match.
“I was really nervous (because) it’s the third round and it was a great player (I was playing), but I was only thinking to be aggressive,” said the Spaniard in her post-match on-court interview. “I worked really hard this pre-season, so I think this is the reward for working so hard.”
Muguruza is now 2-0 against Wozniacki. She defeated her 6-2 6-4 on the hardcourts in Miami early last year at their only previous meeting.
Muguruza, who beat No. 24 seed Kaia Kanepi in the opening round in what’s only her fourth grand slam appearance, next faces Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals.
The feisty Latina is considered one of the rising stars in women’s tennis, fit and sharp after rehab and recovery from right ankle surgery after Wimbledon that sidelined her for the rest of 2013.