Beijing Final: (5) Garbine Muguruza vs (12) Timea Bacsinszky
Two of 2015’s biggest improvers will go head-to-head in the final of the China Open on Sunday evening when Garbine Muguruza meets Timea Bacsinszky. Both ladies will be aiming to claim the biggest titles of their careers, both will reach a new career high ranking next week regardless of the result of this match. Timea Bacsinszky is now just one win away from reaching the WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time in her career, Garbine already clinched her spot at the season finale for the first time in her career earlier this week. This promises to be a fascinating battle.
After a shocking North American summer, Garbine Muguruza has rebounded amazingly during the Asian Swing, reaching back-to-back finals in Wuhan and Beijing. The Spaniard’s form in Wuhan was much more convincing before she ultimately succumbed to fatigue in the final. Garbine has laboured through the majority of her matches in Beijing, she certainly isn't at her best physically.
Garbine booked her spot in the final with a gutsy 4-6 6-4 6-3 victory over Agnieszka Radwanska. It was a bizarre match, Garbine seemed to be in pain and her movement was certainly hampered by injury, but Garbine’s powerful game was good enough to hit through Radwanska. It’s going to be a tough ask for Garbine to compete at a high level in the final on Sunday, she has played so much tennis in the last couple of weeks, being forced to retire during a final for a second week in a row seems like a real possibility.
Little was expected of Timea Bacsinszky this week in Beijing, However Timea has defied the odds to reach the biggest final of her career and move into the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time. Timea is now just 1 win away from reaching her first WTA Finals campaign, which seemed highly unlikely given she arrived in Beijing on the back of 5 consecutive losses.
Timea’s route to the final hasn’t been easy, coming from a set down on 3 occasions, 4 of her 5 victories this week have been in 3 sets. Bacsinszky’s three latest victories in Beijing have all been extremely hard-fought, a 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro, a 0-6 6-3 7-5 victory over Sara Errani before recording a 5-7 6-4 6-1 victory over Ana Ivanovic to book her spot in the final. Timea’s ability to work things out on court when things are not going her way is second to none, she has once again proven that over the last couple of days.
Garbine Muguruza holds a perfect 2-0 head-to-head record over Timea Bacsinszky. Their most recent clash took place at the quarter-final stage of Wimbledon earlier this year, it was the Spaniard who emerged victorious with a 7-5 6-3 victory. Garbine’s other victory over Timea came at the Australian Open earlier this year, a topsy-turvy 3 set victory.
This is a really tough match to call, especially given Garbine’s injury concerns and Timea potentially suffering from fatigue after some gruelling matches. I like Timea’s chances in this one, the crafty Swiss player will make life extremely difficult for Garbine. The Spaniard will probably not be at her best, Timea is the type of opponent that will usually take full advantage of this. With a first ever appearance at the WTA Finals on the line, this is a massive opportunity for Bacsinszky, I think she will be smart enough to take full advantage.