Garbine Muguruza vs. Anastasija Sevastova, Montreal R2 Preview

🇨🇦 Rogers Cup, Montreal R2 Preview
🇪🇸 (7) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇱🇻 Anastasija Sevastova

Garbine Muguruza opens her Rogers Cup campaign with a tough test against Anastasija Sevastova on Wednesday. Muguruza received a bye through the first round in Montreal whilst Sevastova crushed Aleksandra Krunic. This has been a troublesome match-up for Muguruza in the past, expect the Latvian to again prove troublesome for the Spaniard here, can Sevastova pull off the upset?

Garbine Muguruza of Spain talks to the press during All Access Hour at the 2018 Coupe Rogers WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Garbine Muguruza will be kick-starting her U.S hard court swing this week in Montreal. The Spaniard was scheduled to play in San Jose last week but was forced to withdraw with an arm injury. It’s always hard to know what to expect from Muguruza when she starts a new period of the season so it will be interesting to see how she handles herself in a tough early test in Montreal.

Anastasija Sevastova is also starting her U.S hard court swing this week. Sevastova went back to clay after Wimbledon, winning the title in Bucharest and reaching the quarter-finals in Moscow. The Latvian made light work of the transition back to the hard courts, making a clinical start in Montreal by thrashing Aleksandra Krunic 6-1 6-0.

Muguruza holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Sevastova. Sevastova caused a huge upset when she beat Muguruza at the US Open in 2016, since then Muguruza has won their two latest clashes, most recently a 6-2 6-4 victory at the Australian Open last year.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Naomi Broady, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇬🇧 (wc) Naomi Broady

Garbine Muguruza begins her title defense at Wimbledon on Tuesday with an opening round clash against British wild card: Naomi Broady. Grass was always Muguruza’s least preferred surface but that has dramatically changed in recent times, a runner-up performance in 2015 and one step better to lift the trophy in 2017 at SW19 means the Spaniard has a new-found confidence on grass. Muguruza heads into this match as a huge favourite.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Muguruza had a limited preparation for Wimbledon. The Spaniard played in just one grass tournament prior to arriving in London. Muguruza played in Birmingham where she easily defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the opening round before succumbing to Barbora Strycova in straight sets in what was a disappointing result. Nevertheless, Muguruza always raises her intensity at the Grand Slam level and is one of the main contenders in a wide-open draw.

Naomi Broady is languishing at 138 in the world, the Britt has received yet another wild card into the main draw at Wimbledon but has been dealt a killer opening round draw against the defending champion. Broady has made 6 previous appearances in the main draw at Wimbledon but has only won the 1 match. Broady brings poor form into this event and will have little expectations coming up against Muguruza.

This will be the first tour level meeting between the pair, a huge mismatch on paper. However, Broady does have a dangerous game when she is on and will look to ambush the Spaniard in front of her home crowd.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Barbora Strycova, Birmingham R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R2 Preview
🇪🇸 (1) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇨🇿 Barbora Strycova

Garbine Muguruza and Barbora Strycova will renew hostilities when they meet at the second round stage of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham on Thursday. Muguruza and Strycova had very contrasting opening round victories, Muguruza crushed Pavlyuchenkova whilst Strycova battled past Brady. Interestingly, Strycova has won the last two matches between the pair, can Strycova claim a third consecutive win over the Spaniard?

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Garbine Muguruza kickstarted her 2018 grass court campaign in style. The reigning Wimbledon champion thumped Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-2 in just under hour. Muguruza did not face a break point throughout the match, a clinical serving performance from the top seed.

Barbora Strycova advanced to the second round in Birmingham with a typically dramatic 3-6 7-5 6-3 win over Jennifer Brady. Strycova looked down and out on a couple of occasions, twice down a break in the second set and down a break early in the decider, Strycova’s trademark determination eventually got the better of the American to secure a showdown with the top seed.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 3 wins apiece. Strycova has proven to be a very difficult opponent for Muguruza in recent times having won 3 of their last 4 matches. Their most recent completed match and only previous match on grass was in Eastbourne last year, an easy 6-1 6-0 victory for Strycova.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Birmingham R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R1 Preview
🇪🇸 (1) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇷🇺 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

The top seeded Garbine Muguruza will begin her Birmingham campaign with a potentially tricky opening round clash against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. This will be Muguruza’s first match on grass since claiming her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year, it will be interesting to see what type of form Muguruza starts the 2018 grass courts season with at the Nature Valley Classic.

Garbine Muguruza of action during the semi-final of the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Muguruza enters the grass court swing on the back of another deep run at Roland Garros. The Spaniard made it all the way to the semi-finals in Paris where she was beaten by Simona Halep in straight sets. It was in Birmingham last year that Muguruza started to gain momentum before her Wimbledon success with a semi-final showing. Muguruza did not grow up on grass but her powerful game has proven to be very dangerous on this surface, expect her to be contending for titles over the next month on the grass.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will be searching for her first victory in Birmingham since 2009, granted she has only played in Birmingham on a couple of occasions. Pavlyuchenkova showed signs of a form reversal in Strasbourg a few weeks ago where she won the title but went on to lose in the second round at Roland Garros against Sam Stosur, a straight set loss. The Russian has never really found her feet on grass, in 2017 she suffered a shock first round exit at Wimbledon against Arina Rodionova.

Muguruza holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Pavlyuchenkova. The Spaniard has won all of 3 of the completed matches between the pair, most recently a 7-5 6-1 win in Cincinnati. Pavlyuchenkova beat Muguruza earlier this year in Stuttgart courtesy of a Muguruza retirement after a close opening set.

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Simona Halep vs. Garbine Muguruza, Roland Garros SF Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, SF Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza

Thursday’s first semi-final at Roland Garros will be a blockbuster encounter between world number 1 Simona Halep and 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza. Halep and Muguruza have been the two most consistent performers in Paris over the last few years, Halep has amassed a 16-4 win/loss record in Paris over the last 4 years whilst Muguruza has an 18/4/ win loss record over the same period of time. Both love Paris and both are in great form heading into this match, who steps up to grab the first spot in the final?

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action during her quarter-final match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Simona Halep’s route to a third semi-final in Paris has not been straightforward. Halep has twice been forced to come from a set down including her opening round match against Alison Riske. Halep upped her level after that initial scare to claim comfortable straight set wins over Taylor Townsend, Andrea Petkovic and Elise Mertens. Halep faced her toughest test at the quarter-final stage where she had to battle hard to defeat an in-form Angelique Kerber 6-7 6-3 6-2, perhaps a victory that will help the Romanian moving forward, a match that Halep would typically have lost in the past.

Garbine Muguruza has arguably been the most impressive of the four semi-finalists. The Spaniard has cruised into the final 4 without dropping a set and has very rarely been challenged. The manner in which Muguruza has come through her last few matches has been especially impressive, a 6-0 6-2 win over Sam Stosur and a 6-2 6-1 win over Maria Sharapova, two dominant performances over a former finalist and a 2-time former champion in Paris. Muguruza is a proven big-time player, she always raises her level and manages to find her best once she is at this stage of a Grand Slam.

It is Muguruza who has had the better of this match-up. Muguruza holds a 3-1 record over Halep. The most recent match between the pair was a 6-1 6-0 demolition in favour of Muguruza in the Cincinnati final last year. However, it was Halep who won their only previous match on a clay court a 3 set win in Stuttgart in 2015.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Maria Sharapova, Roland Garros QF Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, QF Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇷🇺 (28) Maria Sharapova

Garbine Muguruza will be searching for her first victory over Maria Sharapova when the pair meet in a blockbuster quarter-final clash at Roland Garros on Wednesday. Muguruza and Sharapova both enter this clash in ominous form, both are fresh after not having to complete a fourth round match. This is an exciting battle between two former champions in Paris, who will rise to the occasion and claim victory here?

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Muguruza has waltzed into the quarter-finals in Paris without dropping a set. The Spaniard powered through the opening week with straight set wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Fiona Ferro and Samantha Stosur. Muguruza’s fourth round match lasted just 2 games before Lesia Tsurenko retired injured. Roland Garros is easily Muguruza’s most successful tournament, the 2016 champion is certainly now one of the main contenders in 2018.

Maria Sharapova is back into the quarter-finals in Paris for the first time since winning the tournament in 2014. Sharapova is a 2-time former champion in Paris, surprisingly Roland Garros is her most successful Grand Slam and suddenly she looms as a genuine contender to win a third title. Sharapova moved through the first week with a 3 set win over Richel Hogenkamp before improving her level to claim straight set wins over Donna Vekic and Karolina Pliskova. Sharapova was scheduled to meet Serena Williams in the fourth round but was handed a walkover into the next round.

Sharapova holds a perfect 3-0 record over Muguruza. The pair played in 2014 at the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros, an event where Muguruza made her big breakthrough, Sharapova came from a set down to claim a 3 set win on that occasion and did the same thing at the Rogers Cup later in the year in what was their most recent match.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Lesia Tsurenko, Roland Garros R4 Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, R4 Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko

Garbine Muguruza may have entered Roland Garros in poor form and with seemingly little hope of contending for the title but all of that has changed after the first week in Paris. Muguruza was arguably one of the most impressive performers during the first week, steamrolling into the second week without dropping a set. Next up for Muguruza is Lesia Tsurenko. Muguruza will enter this match as a strong favourite against an opponent that has already exceeded expectations in Paris, can Tsurenko continue her dream run in Paris?

Lesia Tsurenko of the Ukraine in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Muguruza has done very well to come through a very tough section of the draw without much fuss. The 3rd seed started the week with a 7-6 6-2 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova before beating Fiona Ferro 6-4 6-3. Muguruza confirmed her spot in the third round with a 6-0 6-2 demolition of Sam Stosur, Muguruza’s win over the Aussie was arguably the most impressive performance anyone was able to produce during the first week. Muguruza has an awesome record in Paris, a champion in 2016, quarter-final appearances in 2014, and 2015 and again into the second week in the last 2 years. Muguruza now looms as a real contender for the title in Paris.

Lesia Tsurenko is into the second week of a Grand Slam for just the second time in her career. Prior to this year’s event the Ukrainian had never even reached the third round in Paris. It has been a great week for Tsurenko who started the tournament with a 3 set win over Stefanie Voegele. Tsurenko booked her spot in the fourth round with back-to-back wins over seeded opponents, 3-6 6-4 6-0 win over 15th seeded CoCo Vandeweghe followed by a 6-2 6-4 win over the 19th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Tsurenko upset the Spaniard in straight sets in Cincinnati in 2015, more recently Muguruza beat Tsurenko 6-4 6-4 in Wuhan last year.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Samantha Stosur, Roland Garros R3 Preview

Roland Garros, R3 Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇦🇺 Samantha Stosur

A blockbuster third round clash in Paris on Saturday sees the 3rd seeded Garbine Muguruza takes on Samantha Stosur, a heavyweight battle in the opening week at Roland Garros. Muguruza and Stosur both have great records at Roland Garros, Muguruza a former champion, Stosur a former finalist. The pair enter this match in good shape after consecutive straight set wins, who will step up and win this exciting match?

Garbine Muguruza of Spain during the first-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Garbine Muguruza was dealt an extremely tough opening round draw in Paris. The 2016 Roland Garros champion was unfazed as she defeated fellow former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 6-2. They key to that match was the 7-0 first set tiebreak for the Spaniard. Muguruza booked her spot in the third round with a surprisingly tough 6-4 6-3 win over Fiona Ferro.

Sam Stosur has also come through a dangerous section of the draw. Stosur started the week with a commanding 6-2 6-4 win over Yanina Wickmayer before defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 7-6. Stosur was behind for most of the second set but a beak as Pavlyuchenkova served for the set turned the match in Stosur’s favour as she cruised to victory in the second set tiebreak.

Muguruza holds a 2-1 H2H record over Stosur. The most recent match between the pair took place in Brisbane last year, Muguruza claimed an extremely hard-fought 7-5 6-7 7-5 victory. Muguruza also defeated Stosur at the semi-final stage at Roland Garros in 2016, a 6-2 6-4 win.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Roland Garros R1 Preview

Roland Garros, R1 Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇷🇺 Svetlana Kuznetsova

The pick of the opening round matches in Paris sees two former Roland Garros champions collide as 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza takes on 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. This will be the second year in a row that Muguruza has come up against a fellow Roland Garros champion in the opening round after beating Francesca Schiavone in the opening round last year.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain practices ahead of the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Muguruza’s form has not been great in 2018. The Spaniard’s form during the clay court swing in the leadup to Paris was lacklustre, opening round defeats in Stuttgart and Rome and a third round showing in Madrid, really poor given what Muguruza is capable of. Muguruza’s most recent loss was a brutal one, beaten by Daria Gavrilova in a marathon match in Rome, Muguruza gave up a 4-0 lead in the deciding set, squandering match points to lose a final set tiebreak.

Kuznetsova’s form has also been unimpressive heading into the second Grand Slam of the year. Kuznetsova only recently started her season after injury saw her miss the first couple of months of the year. Kuznetsova has amassed a poor 3-6 win/loss record in 2018, most recently the Russian was beaten in the opening round in Madrid at the hands of Petra Martic and suffered a second round loss in Rome at the hands of Anett Kontaveit.

This has been a great match-up for Muguruza. The Spaniard holds a 5-1 head-to-head record over Kuznetsova and has won the last 5 matches between the pair. Muguruza has beaten Kuznetsova on every surface, most recently it was a 6-2 5-7 7-5 win for Muguruza in Cincinnati last year. Whilst the H2H record looks lopsided, all of the matches between the pair have been close.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Donna Vekic, Madrid R2 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Garbine Muguruza continues her Mutua Madrid Open campaign on Tuesday with a second round clash against Croatia’s Donna Vekic. Muguruza has never made is past the second round in Madrid, the top ranked Spaniard will be desperate to change that in 2018 and will be a warm favourite to do so when she takes on Vekic for a spot in the third round.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Muguruza and Vekic secured similarly comfortable victories to book their spots in the second round in Madrid. Muguruza claimed a 6-4 6-2 win over Shuai Peng whilst Vekic defeated Georgina Garcia-Perez 6-2 6-4. There are contrasting expectations placed on these two at this event, the third seeded Muguruza is under great pressure to finally perform well at her home event whilst little is expected of Vekic given clay has always been considered her least preferred surface.

Interestingly it was Vekic who won the only previous matches between the pair, a 7-6 7-6 win on a hard court in Monterrey in 2014. Of course much has changed since then, Muguruza has become a 2-time Grand Slam champion whilst Vekic has made little progress.

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