Wuhan Final: Venus Williams vs (5) Garbine Muguruza
Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza advanced through a bizarre semi-final day to set up a clash in Saturday’s final at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open. Both Venus and Garbine seemed to pick up injuries towards the end of their semi-final matches but both managed push through the pain. There is now uncertainty surrounding both Venus and Garbine heading into the final, hopefully we will see a full match with any retirements.
Venus Williams has rocketed into genuine contention to qualify for Singapore this week on the back of some stunning performances. The American started the week off particularly well, recording commanding straight set victories over Agnieszka Radwanska, Julia Goerges and Carla Suarez Navarro. The next two victories were not so straight forward for Venus, clinching marathon three set victories over Johanna Konta and Roberta Vinci.
Venus seemed to really run out of energy towards the end of her matches with Konta and Vinci. Venus also seemed to pick up an injury towards the end of her semi-final clash. Nevertheless, Venus wasn’t looking for excuses and kept fighting like a true champion and ultimately came out on top. Venus is now ranked 13th in the live race to Singapore standings and can move all the way up to 9th with a victory over Garbine Muguruza on Saturday.
Garbine Muguruza has been in stunning form this week, producing some scintillating tennis to reach the biggest final of her career. Garbine has all but confirmed her position at her first WTA Finals campaign, the Spaniard can clinch her spot in Singapore with a victory on Saturday. Garbine will also reach a career high ranking when the new rankings come out on Monday, Garbine is currently ranked 5th in the live rankings and will move up to 4th if she claims the title.
Garbine started the week in stunning form with a commanding straight set victory over Sloane Stephens before winning 12 of the last 13 games to rocket past Ana Ivanovic. The Spaniard went on to secure her place in the final with straight set victories over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Angelique Kerber. Garbine’s performance against Kerber was quite impressive, she was clearly the better player throughout the match, totally dictating the play with her punishing play form the baseline. However a fall towards the end of the match threatened to halt Garbine’s progress, after a medical time-out at 3-3 in the second set tiebreak Garbine came out swinging and with a bit of luck she got the job done.
Venus Williams holds a perfect 2-0 head-to-head record over the Spaniard. Their most recent encounter took place in Auckland last year, Venus recorded a relatively comfortable 6-3 6-3 win.
It’s almost impossible to predict what will happen in this match given the injury concerns surrounding both ladies heading into the final. If both ladies are able to play out the match, I think Garbine has the clear edge. This is a good match-up for Garbine, the Spaniard will be able to take care the American’s weak second serve and can handle the American from the baseline.