This is tennis and, also, this is Garbiñe Muguruza, one day in a borderline situation and the next against a privileged one. The Spanish began the master tournament with a setback and although it was amended in the next appointment, it landed in the duel that closed the initial league with the demand to win, yes or yes, against the ropes and against a rival that chained 12 consecutive wins and he had chosen 28 of his last 30 games. But Garbiñe, the Muguruza of good morning, emerged and gave the script a great swerve (double 6-4, in 1h 26m). Consequently, history in Guadalajara: already mentioned with Paula Badosa in the semifinals of the Copa de Maestras, Tuesday’s duel in Guadalajara (Mexico) guarantees a Spanish finalist 28 years later.
The first and only one who had achieved it so far was Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, who in 1993 yielded against German Steffi Graf at Madison Square Garden. Now, happy moment, it will be Muguruza (28 years and fifth in the ranking) or Badosa (24th and 10th on the list) the one with the grand prize just one step away, brightening up a meritorious season in which women’s tennis is constantly reporting good news, either with trophies –two per head, Dubai and Chicago in the case of the first and Belgrade and Indian Wells in the second – or based on sparks. And about the latter, Muguruza, a special tennis player, knows a while.
He jumped on the track in the night session dressed in a Mexico national team shirt, a country in which he enjoys and is therefore clothed with the Latin factor, also the scene of his last two alegrías (April 2018 and 2019) before to be reunited with success two years later, in Dubai. But she faced Kontaveit with the red light activated, in a toss-up pulse since in the previous turn the Czech Karolina Pliskova had surrendered her compatriot Barbora Krejcikova (0-6, 6-4 and 6-4) and the accounts they forced him to win to pass. That simple, that complicated.
It turns out that Muguruza completed a very serious match against an opponent who bled to the right and that despite the defeat will also be in the next season of the tournament, since he had won his two previous commitments. The Estonian, eight in the world and winner of four titles this season (she owns five), came in like a shot – champion and Moscow and Transylvania in the two weeks leading up to the Masters – and having knocked out both Czechs with overwhelming ease. However, this Monday the leads melted and he found in front he also found a fronton.
Solid and determined, superb at the service –seven direct points, 80% of points retained with the first ones– and in the defensive phase, Muguruza started with a break and successfully resolved the critical stretch of the first set. He aborted two break balls, closed and in the second round he traced the sequence, with another break of entry and maintaining the type when the situation demanded it. He canceled Kontaveit’s attempt with a ace and halted the spectacular streak of the Estonia, which chained 16 sets in a row in their favor. In Guadalajara, the altitude makes the ball have an extra flight and the eighth in the world melted due to its excessively long hit, unable to calibrate well.
The Spanish, therefore, will return to the semifinals of the Masters after having reached those of 2015 in her first participation and will star alongside Badosa in an unprecedented duel, since they had never met on the track. Beforehand, a view from power to power is guessed (21.00 or 2.30, Teledeporte / DAZN) between two tennis players who usually handle the helm of the games, the Catalan one more linear – defeated this Monday (7-5 and 6-4) by Iga Swiatek, in an inconsequential commitment – and more oscillating this course the former number one. In the other semi-final, Kontaveit will face the Greek Maria Sakkari or the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.
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