Carla Suarez Navarro Defeats Maria Sharapova to Advance to the US Open Quarterfinals

It’s a birthday to remember for Carla Suarez Navarro

The Spanish tennis player ended former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova‘s perfect record in night matches at the US Open, reaching the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory Monday on her 30th birthday.

Carla Suarez Navarro

Suarez Navarro, the No. 30 seed at Flushing Meadows, face 2017 runner-up Madison Keys in her bid to reach the first Grand Slam semifinal of her career.

Sharapova, seeded 22nd, had been 22-0 under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 2006 champion has lost in the fourth round of her past three appearances.

“Just a little too up-and-down,” is the way Sharapova described her performance Monday.

Sharapova collected the trophy in New York at age 19 in 2006 and owns a total of five Grand Slam titles, but the Russian was far shakier during this match than Suarez Navarro, who never has made it past the quarterfinals at a major.

The Spaniard will be at that stage for the second time at the US Open, five years after her other run to that round.

“A really complete performance,” is the way she described her play.

Suarez Navarro let the 22nd-seeded Sharapova create her own problems.

Sharapova had all sorts of trouble serving, repeatedly catching wayward ball tosses and committing eight double faults. She was broken in six of her 10 service games.

During lengthy exchanges from the baseline, Sharapova often blinked first, although a couple of times the righty managed to switch her racket to her left hand for a desperation shot to extend a point.

While both women finished with 15 winners, Sharapova had nearly twice as many unforced errors as Suarez Navarro, 38-20.

“I didn’t take care of the chances that I had. By ‘chances,’ I mean the balls that were a little bit shorter. I hesitated to move forward,” Sharapova said. “The balls where I did attack, I made unforced errors, especially on that inside-out forehand today.”

Since her championship, Sharapova has only once made it to the quarterfinals at the US Open — in 2012, when she lost in the semifinals. Since then, the best she has done are fourth-round exits in 2014, 2017 and 2018.

After this latest loss, Sharapova was asked whether she envisions herself getting back to her best in the future.

“First of all, if I didn’t have the belief to keep doing this and to keep having the motivation and the grind of doing this every day in order to get myself in these positions, I don’t think I would be here. I think I’ve done plenty in my career, established a lot for myself personally, professionally,” she replied.

“The belief is not something that I’m eager to show everybody else,” Sharapova continued. “The belief matters most when it’s internal and when you have a passion for something. If you don’t, it’s your choice to not continue that, not for anyone else to tell you so.”

Carla Suárez Navarro Upsets Caroline Garcia to Reach US Open Fourth Round

Carla Suárez Navarro is back in familiar territory at the US Open..

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis player, seeded No. 30 at Flushing Meadows, fought through a challenging match against No. 6 seed Caroline Garcia, for a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory, and earned a spot in the fourth round of the US Open once again.

Carla Suárez Navarro

“It was really tough,” Suárez Navarro admitted to the press, after the match. “I was a break up in the first set, but I didn’t take my serve then. But every point, every game was so close.”

Suárez Navarro, a US Open quarterfinalist in 2013, has now reached the fourth round in New York for the fifth time in her career, following the nearly two-and-a-half-hour marathon win over Garcia, which was Suárez Navarro’s first win over the French-Latina in their three meetings.

In the fourth round, Suárez Navarro will face 2006 US Open champion and former World No.1 Maria Sharapova.

Garbiñe Muguruza: The Highest Paid Latina Athlete in the World

Garbiñe Muguruza is the highest-paid Latina athlete…

Forbes has released its list of the 10 Highest-Paid Female Athletes, with the 24-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan professional tennis player and former world No. 1 making the cut.

Garbiñe Muguruza 

Muguruza comes in at No. 4 on the list, behind Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens.

Muguruza, who won her second Grand Slam at Wimbledon last year, earned 11 million during the tracking period.

Muguruza’s title at the All England Club meant a big bonus from sponsor Adidas and also helped her land a deal with Rolex. Evian signed Muguruza this year for a multiyear, global marketing campaign. Other sponsors include BabolatBeats by Dre, Maui Jim sunglasses and Caser Seguros insurance.

In all, the 10 highest-paid female athletes banked $105 million from prize money, appearances, royalties and endorsements in the 12 months ending June 1, 2018. The tally is down 4% from last year and 28% from five years ago. Blame the retirements of popular endorsement stars like Li Na, Danica Patrick and Ana Ivanovic. Another dent: The off-court income of Maria Sharapova, who was the top-earning female athlete for 11 straight years, is still down more than 50% after the fallout from her 16-month suspension for taking a banned substance. Sharapova ranks fifth this year at $10.5 million.

Here’s the complete list:

1, Serena Williams — Total earnings: $18.1 million
2. Caroline Wozniacki — Total earnings: $13 million
3. Sloane Stephens — Total earnings: $11.2 million
4. Garbine Muguruza — Total earnings: $11 million
5. Maria Sharapova — Total earnings: $10.5 million
6. Venus Williams — Total earnings: $10.2 million
7. P.V. Sindhu — Total earnings: $8.5 million
8. Simona Halep — Total earnings: $7.7 million
9. Danica Patrick — Total earnings: $7.5 million
10. Angelique Kerber — Total earnings: $7 million

Garbine Muguruza Defeats Maria Sharapova to Reach French Open Semifinals

Garbine Muguruza moved a step closer to regaining the French Open title by beating two-time winner Maria Sharapova in a one-sided quarterfinal.

The 24-year-old Spanish tennis player, the third seed at Roland Garros and a winner in Paris in 2016, dominated from the start and ended the Russian’s hopes with a 6-2 6-1 victory in 70 minutes.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, the reigning Wimbledon champion, has not dropped a set at the tournament.

She will play world number one Simona Halep in the last four after the Romanian beat German Angelique Kerber.

Both Muguruza and Halep, who is searching for her first Grand Slam title, could finish the tournament as the world number one.

“I was up against a great player so I had to make sure I brought my best tennis,” said Muguruza.

“I wasn’t thinking so much about the result. I was just thinking about not dropping my level, not giving her a single point, and I guess that helped my performance.”

Sharapova, back on the Paris clay after a two-year absence, admitted she had been outplayed but was pleased with her overall performance at the year’s second major.

“Coming into this part of the year, I was losing a few first-round matches, matches that I wanted to be winning,” she said.

“But to have had the victories that I have had, obviously things are moving a step in the right direction, but today was certainly not one of those steps.”

Garbine Muguruza Reaches Quarterfinals at the French Open

Garbine Muguruza hardly broke a sweat in reaching the French Open quarterfinals…

The 24-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player, a former champion, made the Final Eight at Roland Garros on Monday when her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, quit after just two games with a leg injury.

Garbine Muguruza

Third seed Muguruza, the 2016 champion, was only on court for 20 minutes.

Tsurenko also needed a medical time-out off court after just the first game.

Muguruza next plays two-time champion Maria Sharapova for a place in the semifinals.

Monica Puig to Help with Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico Following Hurricane Maria

Monica Puig is giving back to her community…

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican tennis player and Maria Sharapova will head to Puerto Rico next week to help with recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria.

Monica Puig

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, and Puig, who won Puerto Rico’s first Olympic gold medal in any sport at the 2016 Rio Games last summer, will go to the island Monday to distribute portable stoves, medicine and other supplies.

The agency that represents both players said Wednesday that Puig has raised more than $125,000 to help storm victims, while Sharapova is donating proceeds from her candy company for the rest of 2017.

The storm swept across Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, causing at least 48 deaths, according to the official tally. It caused widespread flooding and knocked out the entire power grid for the island of 3.4 million people.

Garbine Muguruza Wins Her First Western & Southern Open Title

Garbine Muguruza has claimed her first title in the United States…

The 23-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player added another trophy in her breakthrough summer, beating Simona Halep on Sunday for her first Western & Southern Open title.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza’s 6-1, 6-0 win in only 56 minutes extended her streak of playing deep into tournaments and denied Halep a chance to claim the No. 1 spot in the next WTA rankings.

Muguruza won her first title in the U.S. and her second of the year, after defeating Venus Williams at Wimbledon earlier this summer. In three tournaments since, she has at least reached the quarterfinals.

Muguruza broke Halep to go up 2-0 in the first set and was in control. Halep won only 12 points in the set, which lasted 23 minutes. Muguruza broke her again to open the second set and faced only two break points all match.

When it ended, Muguruza congratulated Halep and walked around the court with her smiling face cradled in both hands, taking it all in. Then she put her hands over her heart and reached toward the applauding crowd.

The women’s bracket was missing Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova. Muguruza knocked off defending champion Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.

Muguruza Beats Serena Williams to Claim the French Open Title

Garbiñe Muguruza has officially arrived…

The 22-year-old Spanish/Venezuelan tennis player defeated World No. 1 Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4 at the French Open on Saturday to claim her first-ever Grand Slam title.

Garbiñe Muguruza

Muguruza’s win prevented Williams from tying Steffi Graf‘s Open-era record of 22 Grand Slam titles for the third straight Grand Slam event.

In winning her first major, Muguruza used her powerful groundstrokes to keep Williams off-balance and overcame signs of nerves in the form of nine double-faults to pull off the upset win.

Muguruza also managed to deal with Williams’ dangerous serve, breaking three consecutive times from late in the first set to early in the second en route to beating Williams for the second time in three years at Roland Garros. In 2014, she handed Williams the worst loss of her Grand Slam career with a 6-2, 6-2 victory in the second round.

After letting four match points slip away in the penultimate game, Muguruza served out the match at love, punctuated by a high lob that caught the baseline as Williams watched.

Garbiñe Muguruza

The winning shot drew a smile from Williams’ face and she applauded Muguruza, who put her face in her hands and fell on her back in the red clay of Court Philippe Chatrier as her coach Sam Sumyk jumped from his chair and raised both arms in the air.

“She has a bright future, obviously,” said Williams, who at 34 is 12 years older than her Spanish opponent. “She knows how to play on the big stage and … clearly, she knows how to win Grand Slams.”

Muguruza, who lost to Williams in the 2015 final at Wimbledon, became the first Spanish woman to win a Grand Slam title since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario won the last of her three French Open crowns in 1998.

“I can’t explain with words what this day means to me,” Muguruza said after the match. “You work all your life to get here.”

Muguruza became just the fifth different woman to defeat Williams in a Grand Slam final, joining Angelique Kerber, Samantha Stosur, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams — who beat her sister twice.

This year’s visit to Paris hardly could have started off more inauspiciously for Muguruza: She lost the very first set she played in the tournament, against 38th-ranked Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

But Muguruza turned things around from there. She won the next 14 sets she played, displaying the deep groundstrokes and take-the-ball-early aggressiveness that flustered Williams.

“I have grown up playing on clay,” Muguruza said during the trophy ceremony, “so for Spain, and for me, this is amazing.”

Muguruza Defeats Petra Kvitova to Reach Semifinals at WTA Finals

Garbine Muguruza has advanced to the semifinals at the WTA Finals in her first appearance.

The 22-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player beat former champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 on Friday to reach the semifinals.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza finished the round-robin stage 3-0 and needed to win only one set against Kvitova to earn a semifinal berth.

The other three players in the group all finished 1-2, but Kvitova advanced because of more sets won.

After losing to Muguruza, Kvitova needed the already-eliminated Lucie Safarova to beat Angelique Kerber without dropping a set, and her compatriot came through by winning 6-4, 6-3.

Kvitova will play Maria Sharapova, who won the other group, with Muguruza facing Agnieszka Radwanska in the other semifinal.

In a match that featured 15 breaks of serve, Muguruza converted her fourth match point with a backhand crosscourt volley to win in 2 hours, 33 minutes.

The Spaniard is also into the doubles semifinals with countrywoman Carla Suarez Navarro, and said the heavy workload is taking a toll.

“For sure I’m tired today,” Muguruza said. “It’s going to a challenge for me to see how much my body can handle, because now I don’t have a day off. It’s great to be in my position I think now, to be playing singles and doubles semifinals.”

Muguruza Returns to the French Open Quarterfinals for Second Straight Year

It’s a déjà vu moment for Garbine Muguruza

The 21-year-old Venezuelan-Spanish professional tennis player proved that last year’s impressive performance at the French Open was no fluke, repeating her run to the quarterfinals on Monday.

Garbiñe Muguruza

Muguruza advanced with a 6-3 6-4 win over 28th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy and her claycourt skills suggested she has what it takes to become the first Spanish woman to triumph at Roland Garros since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998.

“The other day we were talking in the locker room because she was there. She was giving me some advice. You have to listen to a champion like Arantxa,” Muguruza told a news conference.

“She was explaining to me when she was my age… you have to control your life outside the tennis, also, it’s very important.

“She was telling me about that. Because at the end, in the court is where you know what to do, but the problem is outside. Just like typical advice from like a mother.”

Muguruza broke decisively in the seventh game of the first set and rallied from 3-0 down in the second, the 21st seed’s powerful ground strokes eventually becoming too hot to handle for Pennetta.

Despite a low first-serve percentage, she wrapped up the contest on her first match point when Pennetta coughed up an unforced error with a backhand.

The Spaniard will next face 13th-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova, who upset defending champion and second seed Maria Sharapova.