Garbine Muguruza to Play This Year’s Hopman Cup

Garbine Muguruza is ready to take on the world…

The 24-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player and compatriot David Ferrer will represent Spain in the Hopman Cup mixed teams event in late December.

Garbine Muguruza

The eight-country tournament is scheduled from December 29 to January 5 on indoor hard courts at Perth Arena. It’s used by the players as a tuneup event for the Australian Open, which begins on January 14 in Melbourne.

Serena Williams and Roger Federer have also committed to play, while former Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev will represent Germany.

Frances Tiafoe will be Williams’ partner for the United States, while Belinda Bencic will again represent Switzerland with Federer to defend the title they won in January over Kerber and Zverev in the final.

Williams and Federer are scheduled to play mixed doubles against each other when the U.S. meets Switzerland on January 1.

Hopman Cup Teams:
Australia: Matthew Ebden and Ashleigh Barty
France: Lucas Pouille and Alize Cornet
Germany: Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber
Britain: Cameron Norrie and Katie Boulter
Greece: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari
Spain: David Ferrer and Garbine Muguruza
Switzerland: Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic
United States: Frances Tiafoe and Serena Williams

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 Advances to Semifinals at the Pan Pacific Open

Garbine Muguruza is two wins away from her next WTA title…

The 23-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player and Wimbledon champion advanced to the semifinals of the Pan Pacific Open by beating Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-4 Friday.

Garbine Muguruza

A rare double-fault by the top-seede Muguruza allowed Garcia to pull even at 3-3 in the second set, but she broke back in the next game.

Playing in her first tournament since earning the No. 1 ranking, Muguruza will next face Caroline Wozniacki.

The former top-ranked player advanced when Dominika Cibulkova was forced to retire with a right thigh injury while trailing 3-6, 7-6 (5), 3-1.

Also, Angelique Kerber upset second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (5), 7-5. The seventh-seeded Kerber took advantage of several unforced errors by the Czech player and won with a powerful cross-court shot on her fifth match point.

Kerber will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals. The Russian beat Barbora Strycova 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

Garbiñe Muguruza Stuns Top Seed Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon

Garbiñe Muguruza has taken down the World No. 1…

The Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player defeated Wimbledon top seed Angelique Kerber on Monday 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the Round of 16.

Garbiñe Muguruza

Muguruza and Kerber delivered a stellar match at the All England Club, punctuated by a spectacular third set that featured five breaks of serve.

Muguruza, playing ultra aggressively, dictated proceedings in the two hour, 18-minute encounter, as she struck a whopping 55 winners to Kerber’s 27 – while also striking 50 unforced errors.

Additionally, Muguruza was successful on over 60 percent of the points when she forayed to the net, winning 35 of 54 total.

Kerber was a tidy plus-15 in her winner to unforced error ratio – 27 to 12 – as she forced the Spaniard to come up with her best time and again.

“When you have somebody that it’s so, you know, physically strong, so solid, the more you win free points or make it shorter, it’s better,” Muguruza assesed. “It’s also part of my game. Like I said before, I like to don’t wait 20 shots. You know, I go for it. Today I think was a key to make short points sometimes.”

With her fifth straight loss to Muguruza, Kerber will see her reign at No.1 end for now with a total of 34 weeks to her name – which ranks 12th all-time.

“It was for sure the best match for a long time for me,” the German said in defeat. “When I came here, I was telling myself, I was practicing good after Paris. For me, I’m still looking for the next months, next weeks. I think I’m again on a good way to playing again tennis, yeah, on a high level.

“I think we both play a good match, but at the end, I think just two points that decided the match. Of course I’m disappointed that I lost the match, because I was really playing good. Just one can win, and that was not me today.

“I will try, of course, to coming back [to] and being one day again the No.1. Right now, I’m really happy that I find my game back. I’m on court playing good tennis again.”

Muguruza Advances to Her First Australian Open Quarterfinal

Garbiñe Muguruza is one step closer to another Grand Slam title.

The 23-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player has booked a maiden Australian Open quarterfinals berth, cruising to a straight-sets win over Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.

Garbiñe Muguruza

Muguruza, who defeated Serena Williams in the final of last year’s French Open, rarely looked troubled on her way to a 6-2, 6-3 victory in just more than an hour on Sunday night.

She’ll next face American Coco Vandeweghe, who beat world No. 1 Angelique Kerber.

“It was a very important match for me because this is the third time that I’m in the round of 16 and I never go through,” Muguruza said.

“It means a lot. I always come here very motivated. To be in the quarterfinals is such a great achievement and I’m so looking forward to keep winning.”

Muguruza was able to capitalize on 26 unforced errors from world No. 78 Cirstea, who sought a medical timeout during the second set for treatment of a wrist injury.

Muguruza said she had grown in confidence since claiming her first grand slam title at Roland Garros last year.

“I know grand slams are very important,” Muguruza said.

“When you win one, you have that self-confidence and that belief in yourself that you can do it again.”

Puig Gives Puerto Rico Its First-Ever Olympic Gold at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

Monica Puig is Puerto Rico’s first-ever Golden Girl…

The 22-year-old Puerto Rican tennis player’s Cinderella run through the 2016 Rio Games has ended with a gold medal around her neck, and the first ever Olympic gold medal for her home country. She’s also the first female medalist representing La Isla del Encanto.

Monica Puig

Puig defeated world No. 2 Angelique Kerber of Germany in the women’s singles final.

Ranked 32 places below her opponent, Puig dominated the final set with an aggressive display of offensive tennis to round off a well-deserved 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 victory.

Puig dropped to her knees after securing the win as fans, who had chanted “si se puede” throughout the match, proudly waved Puerto Rican flags in the crowd.

Monica Puig

The upset win also meant Puig became the first unseeded player to become Olympic champion since women’s tennis was reintroduced at the 1988 Seoul Games.

Puerto Rico had won just eight Olympic medals — six bronze and two silver — prior to Puig’s success. Six of those were collected in boxing.

After besting two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the semifinals, Puig vowed to win gold for her compatriots back home. “It would mean the world,” she told reporters.

Earlier in the tournament, this year’s Cinderella also soundly defeated 2016 French Open champion Garbine Muguruza.

“It’s just amazing. I know my country really appreciates this and I really wanted to give this victory to them. And the way I did this victory tonight, I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she said during the press conference.

Puig One Win Away from Earning Puerto Rico’s First-Ever Olympic Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

It’s either gold or silver for Monica Puig

The 22-year-old Puerto Rican tennis player stunned two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the Women’s Signles semifinals, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, to advance to the Gold Medal match at the 2016 Rio Games.

Monica Puig

Puig, who will face Angelique Kerber of Germany, has guaranteed Puerto Rico it’s ninth’s Olympic medal all-time, it made her the island’s first female medalist in any sport and gives her a chance to claim her country’s first-ever gold.

“For me it would mean the world,” said Puig. “It would be unbelievable and the biggest honor in the world. I’m doing it more for my country. This Olympics isn’t about me it’s about Puerto Rico and I know how bad they want this. This isn’t for me this is for them.”

Even Puig couldn’t have imagined she’d be in this position when the week began. Ranked 34th in the world, she owns just one career WTA title and has never been past the fourth round of a Grand Slam.

But she has found a different gear in Rio, upsetting French Open champion Garbine Muguruza and 11th-ranked Kvitova on her way to the final, double-jumping high into the air and covering her face with her hands as match point ended.

She also had significant support from the crowd, including a smattering of Puerto Rican flags waving through the stadium.

“I don’t think I’m so much a different play but my team sat me down after the first match her and said if you want to win you have to step it up and show everyone why you deserve to win,” she said. “That kind of changed my perspective. I have a lot of responsibility not just to myself but my country and if I want this I need to step it up.”

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 Defeats Angelique Kerber to Remain Undefeated at the WTA Finals

Garbine Muguruza continues her winning ways…

The 22-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player, who won her first-ever match at her debut WTA Finals earlier this week, has improved to 2-0 in group-stage matches at the year-end event.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, the tournament’s second seed, defeated Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4 Wednesday.

Muguruza broke Kerber twice in each set to wrap up the win in 1 hour, 38 minutes.

She’ll next play No. 4 seed Petra Kvitova later this week.