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 Upsets Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon to Reach First Grand Slam Final

Garbine Muguruza is experiencing real splendor in the grass

The 21-year-old half-Spanish/half-Venezuelan tennis phenom has reached the first Wimbledon final of her career after stunning No. 13 seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 at the All-England Club.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, who was playing in her first Grand Slam semi-final, showed few signs of nerves to claim a place in Saturday’s showdown against Serena Williams, who she defeated at the 2014 French Open.

Muguruza, the first Spanish woman to reach the finals at Wimbledon in 19 years, was the youngest of the four semifinalists but played with a maturity beyond her years. There were times when Radwanska had no answer to the world No 20’s consistent ball-striking.

Radwanska, whose previously disappointing year had been turned around by her upsurge of form on grass, was playing in her third semifinal here in the last four years, but the 2012 runner-up was frequently knocked out of her rhythm by Muguruza’s big ground strokes.

Radwanska was in trouble from the very first game, in which Muguruza converted her second break point. In the fifth game she broke again as Radwanska’s attempted drop shot landed in the net. When Radwanska served at 1-5 the Pole saved two break points, but in the following game Muguruza served out to love to take the opening set in just 34 minutes.

When Muguruza went 2-0 up at the start of the second set a swift finish looked likely, but Radwanska dug deep and quickly turned the momentum around. From 3-1 up Muguruza lost six games in a row as Radwanska leveled the match and struck the first blow in the deciding set.

The key to the second set was a tight game when Muguruza served at 2-3. Having fought back from 0-30 down, the Spaniard dropped serve for the first time in the match when Radwanska forced her into a forehand error. Two games later she was broken again and Radwanska went on to serve out for the set.

In the first game of the deciding set Muguruza saved a first break point with an ace but put a forehand long on the second. Radwanska was on a roll, but Muguruza responded in admirable fashion in the following game. Hitting a series of big returns, she broke to 15 to level at 1-1.

The set then went with serve until Muguruza broke to lead 4-2. At 15-40 the Spaniard won one of the points of the match. At the end of a thrilling rally, during which she hit a stunning defensive lob, Muguruza hit a decisive blow with a backhand winner.

Radwanska clung on to her serve in the next game but Muguruza was not to be denied and went on to serve out for victory. On Sunday she will attempt to become the first Spanish woman to win the title since Conchita Martinez in 1994.

Muguruza Becomes First Spanish Woman in 18 Years to Reach Wimbledon Semifinals

Garbiñe Muguruza continues her winning ways…

The 21-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player defeated Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3 in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Garbiñe Muguruza

In the process, Muguruza became the first Spanish woman in 18 years to reach the semifinals at the All-England Club (the last was Arantxa Sánchez Vicario).

Muguruza, a rising star on the WTA tour, had to overcome a strong challenge from her Swiss opponent. The pair had previously battled in the third round of the Australian Open, and this match was equally hard fought from the get go, the opening game a display of clean, powerful hitting.

Bacsinszky’s unorthodox shots kept her well-defended against Muguruza’s attacking groundstrokes. With her unusual, over-rotated grip, which sometimes leaves the right-hander holding her racket in her left, Bacsinszky sliced and chopped and more than once caught Muguruza at the back of the court while dropping the ball in just behind the net. Recognizing her opponent’s ability on the court, Muguruza threw everything at her first serve, and it was she who won the crucial break in the final game of the first set.

Consecutive breaks at the start of the second set left the players back on level terms, but as the match wore on it became increasingly apparent that Bacsinszky’s bag of tricks was running low. At 4-3 and 15-all Muguruza dispatched one of Bacsinszky’s wacky slices with a commanding down-the-line forehand, then took the first of two break points and served out the match in an hour and 27 minutes.

It was Muguruza’s first Wimbledon quarterfinal, and after her win Muguruza said she was surprised that her first Grand Slam semifinal will be played on this surface, especially after she had claimed after her first grass tournament in Birmingham that she was “never coming back”.

Muguruza celebrated her victory by bunny-hopping about the court. “It was a very intense game, the last one,” she said, “so it was happiness and relief.” She was three when Sánchez-Vicario reached the second of her Wimbledon finals and while she is not considering her place in history just yet, you cannot doubt her growing assurance. “All this experience helps a lot when you believe that you can do it. So I’m going to be more confident.”

Muguruza, the tournament’s No. 20 seed, will next face No. 13 seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Muguruza Defeats Caroline Wozniacki to Reach the Wimbledon Quarterfinals

It’s a little splendor in the grass for Garbine Muguruza

The 21-year-old Venezuelan-Spanish professional tennis player upset former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round at Wimbledon, reaching the last-eight at the prestigious All-England Club for the first time in her career.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, seeded No. 20, defeated No. 5 seed Wozniacki in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Both players had opportunities in a tight opening set, but it was Muguruza that took hers, claiming the solitary break when the Dane framed a forehand beyond the baseline. Despite a lapse in concentration at the start of the second, Muguruza displayed her growing maturity by wrestling back the momentum, producing a brilliant game – including one inspired backhand lob – to break for a 5-4 lead, then holding her nerve to serve out the match in a fraught final game.

“It means a lot because I haven’t played a lot matches on grass, so I didn’t know how to prepare for Wimbledon,” Muguruza said. “I think it’s like the third time I play here. So for me was something new. That’s why it’s special.

With the win, Muguruza becomes the first Spanish woman to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon since Conchita Martinez – who was announced as the new Spanish Davis Cup captain on Monday – in 2001.

Muguruza’s victory means it’s guaranteed that the Wimbledon ladies’ finalist from the bottom half of the draw will be ranked outside the top 10.

Muguruza next faces Swiss No. 15 seed Timea Bacsinszky after she fought back from a set down to beat Romanian Monica Niculescu 1-6, 7-5, 6-2.

The other quarterfinal match in the bottom half will be contested on Tuesday by big-serving American Madison Keys and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska.

Garcia Upsets Agnieszka Radwanska at China’s Wuhan Open

Caroline Garcia has upset on the brain…

Following her first-round win over Venus Williams, the 20-year-old half-Spanish tennis player pulled off another big upset win, defeating fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska on Monday at the inaugural Wuhan Open in China.

Caroline Garcia

Garcia went for broke, continuing to hit big ground strokes despite piling up unforced errors as she tried to keep Radwanska on the back foot.

“It’s pretty different game between Venus and Radwanska, but I did the same game for myself,” Garcia said. “Against these kind of girls like Radwanska you have to do (this kind) of game … sometime you can miss, but I knew it was the only way I can win this today.”

Garcia, currently ranked No. 41 in the world, avenged a loss to Radwańska at the Mutua Madrid Open in May, where she’d reached the quarterfinals of a Premier WTA event for the first time. She’d defeated Angelique Kerber in the first round after the German retired with a lower back injury, receiving a walkover from Maria Kirilenko after the Russian withdrew with a wrist injury, and then defeating tenth seed Sara Errani in three sets in the third round. She eventually lost to third seed Radwańska in the final eight stage, in three sets.

Muguruza Reaches Her First-Ever Grand Slam Quarterfinal at the French Open

It’s another first for Garbiñe Muguruza

The 20-year-old half-Spanish-half-Venezuelan tennis player’s Cinderella run continues at the French Open.

Garbiñe Muguruza

Following her upset victory over World No. 1 Serena Williams in the second round, and her easy win over Slovakia’s Anna Schmiedlova in her next match-up, Muguruza returned to Roland Garros to face French wildcard Pauline Parmentier in the fourth round.

And the rising star in women’s tennis had little difficulty seeing off the challenge from Parmentier, winning 6-4, 6-2 in fading light on the tournament’s center court to advance to the French Open quarterfinals on Monday morning (AEST).

It’s Muguruza’s first-ever appearance in a Grand Slam quarterfinal, a feat she’s accomplished in only her ninth major. She matched her previous best—a fourth round appearance at this year’s Australian Open—at this tournament, before besting it with her big win over Parmentier.

Muruguzu will next meet Maria Sharapova, who overcame Australia’s Samantha Stosur in three sets. The former World No. 1 is considered the favorite to win the tournament after so many upsets in the women’s draw— with the three top seeds – Williams, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska – all failing to make the fourth round, the first time that has happened in the Open era.

Suarez Navarro Returns to the French Open Quarterfinals for the First Time in Six Years

Carla Suarez Navarro is back in the last eight at Roland Garros for the first time in six years…

In her fourth round match up, the 25-year-old Spanish tennis player beat rising star Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, on Sunday to advance to the French Open quarterfinals.

Carla Suarez Navarro

Suarez Navarro, the tournament’s 14th seed, used her one-handed backhand to subdue the unseeded Tomljanovic, who had knocked out third seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the previous round.

The Spaniard, currently ranked No. 15 in the world, had last reached the final eight at Roland Garros in her very first appearance in 2008.

She prevailed on her second match point when Tomljanovic netted a forehand.

She’ll next play Eugenie Bouchard, the 18th seed.

Muguruza Beats Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open to Reach Her First-Ever Grand Slam Quarterfinals

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.

Garbiñe Muguruza

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.

Nadal Named the Top Seed at the Australian Open

It comes as little surprise… But Rafael Nadal has been listed as the top seed at the Australian Open, which gets underway on Monday at Melbourne Park.

The 27-year-old Spanish tennis star, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, recently extended his points lead over Serbia’s Novak Djokovic after clinching the title at the Qatar Open.

Rafael Nadal

Djokovic, the defending champion, is the No. 2-seeded man, followed by David Ferrer, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro and 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer at sixth.

The other Latino seeds include Spain’s Nicolas Almagro at No. 13, Spain’s Tommy Robredo at No. 18, Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and No. 27 and Spain’s Fernando Verdasco at No. 32.

On the women’s side, Serena Williams has been made the top seeds at the Australian Open.

Defending champion Victoria Azarenka is No. 2, followed by Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska and former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in sixth.

The only Latina to earn at ranking at this year’s Australian Open is Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro at No. 16.

The 32 seeds were only altered twice from the rankings, both because of injuries. No. 29-ranked Jurgen Melzer is not playing due to a left shoulder injury and Maria Kirilenko, who would have been seeded 18th, has a left knee injury.