Garbine Muguruza vs Marina Erakovic, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open, ?? First Round Match Preview
(7) ?? Garbine Muguruza vs ?? Marina Erakovic

Garbine Muguruza has been blessed with a very favourable draw through the opening week at Melbourne Park. The Spaniard will begin the first Grand Slam of the year with a clash against the 109th ranked Marina Erakovic. The other two seeds in Muguruza’s section are Anastasija Sevastova and Carla Suarez Navarro, whilst there are minimal notable dangerous unseeded players in the section. A great opportunity for Muguruza to make it through to the quarter-finals for the first time in Melbourne.

Garbine Muguruza made a great start to 2017 in Brisbane. The Spaniard claimed three extremely hard-fought victories over Sam Stosur, Daria Kasatkina and Svetlana Kuznetsova before being forced to retire with an injury (probably fatigue) during her semi-final clash with Alize Cornet. The manner in which Muguruza won her matches in Brisbane was most impressive, the first two wins came in three hour, three set marathons where Muguruza looked in trouble on both occasions. It was great to see Muguruza dig deep and show the intensity that saw her win her first Grand Slam title last year at Roland Garros. If Muguruza can bring a similar intensity to all of her matches in Melbourne, she will be one of the main contenders to win the title.

Marina Erakovic has rarely been a threat at Grand Slams, her best results in Melbourne were a couple of second round appearance. Erakovic is yet to win a match in 2017 after receiving a wild card into the main draw in Auckland but losing in the first round to Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets.

Muguruza claimed a 7-5 6-0 victory over Erakovic at the Australian Open in 2015 in their only previous encounter. Monday’s match might be fairly similar, but I don’t think Erakovic will come as close to winning a set on this occasion. Muguruza seems determined to be more consistent throughout tournaments and matches this year and I expect her to start the tournament with a ruthless performance against an opponent that doesn’t really pose any threats to the Spaniard.

Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to defeat Marina Erakovic in 2 sets

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