HOBART, Australia – Former champion Garbiñe Muguruza had a winning start in her Hobart International 2020 campaign, as the Spanish seeded number 2 overthrew Wang Yafan of China, 6-1, 7-5, in her first round match.
In the first meeting between the two players, former world No. 1 Muguruza relaxed in the first set, then survived a fight of the second set of Wang No. 51 in the world, as he claimed victory after an hour and 35 minutes of play.
“I was expecting a difficult game, I know Yafan plays very well,” said Muguruza, after his victory. “I expected him to bring it in the second set and it would be better, and that was what happened, but he was ready to face it.”
“Of course, I always want to win 6-1, 6-1,” Muguruza continued, “but that never happens, it’s very rare.”
The two-time Grand Slam champion, Muguruza, achieved his first individual WTA title at Hobart International in 2014, and in his first appearance at the event since then, the Spanish star converted seven of his 11 break points and won almost 60 percent of points in Wang’s first service to reserve a spot in the second round.
The No. 34 of the Muguruza world will now face Ons Jabeur in the second round, after the Tunisian qualifier dispatched Anna Blinkova of Russia in straight sets in her first game.
“I will continue to play my game, I will remain patient,” said Muguruza. “There is no big secret, I just want to keep working and I hope I can keep playing and keep playing!”
Muguruza’s powerful coup began from the beginning, as a multitude of fearsome right-blows in the opening game led the Spaniard to the triple breaking point. Wang quickly gave away the game with a double foul, and although the Chinese player maintained a break point in the next game, Muguruza eliminated him with another right winner on the way to a 2-0 lead.
As the set progressed, Wang tried to move Muguruza across the court more frequently, but it was in vain as the Muguruza bottom hit game was on point. The Spanish turned another break point with a dazzling upside down winner to go up 4-1, then held easily to consolidate the break and moved away a game to claim the initial frame.
Serving to remain on the set at 5-1, Wang fired three unforced errors in a row to give Muguruza another break, giving the former Hobart champion the advantage of a set. Muguruza won 80 percent of Wang’s service points in the first set, and converted the three break points in that period of time.
Wang had a much better start in the second set, breaking Muguruza for the first time during the opening game tilt. However, a setback that forced the error at the breaking point in the next game put the Spaniard on equal footing again, and she resumed the service with her penetrating blows to build a 5-2 lead.
However, Wang was determined to stay in the game, and increasingly used the depth of his shots to achieve three straight games and move back to 5-5. Muguruza, after not having met the match with 5-3, however, was able to stop the Chinese player’s streak of games, finding two aces and two fierce right-blows to easily close and get back to the head in 6 -5.
In the next game, Muguruza recovered his enormous shots, exploiting Wang’s service with interest to get two match points. In the first, a cross return was again too much for Wang, as she got the answer to give victory to the two-time major champion.