“Didn’t Bring My Best Tennis”: Garbine Muguruza Reflects on Tricky Victory Against Anna Kalinskaya

Published 03/29/2021, 4:17 AM EDT
Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open -d Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in action during her second round match against Cori Gauff of the U.S. Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill


World No. 13 Garbine Muguruza advanced to the fourth round of the 2021 Miami Open. Muguruza rallied from a set down to defeat Anna Kalinskaya in a thrilling three-set match in the third round of the WTA 1000 tournament.

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Being 0-3 down in the third set, Muguruza was on the brink of defeat before fighting back to break Kalinskaya’s serve twice and wrapping up the match in 2 hours 41 minutes.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in action during her fourth round match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Garbine Muguruza avoids upset

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During the post-match conference, Muguruza praised Kalinskaya’s game style despite her being a wildcard entrant. The Spaniard mentioned that it was common to face unknown players in big tournaments, and one couldn’t underestimate their level of intensity.

Till the end, Kalinskaya kept pushing Muguruza and saved three match points in emphatic fashion before the two-time Grand Slam champion secured victory.

“These are very tricky rounds where in a big tournament with a big draw you face players, some of them are unknown. Doesn’t mean they don’t have a great level,” said Muguruza.

Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain returns the ball during her Women’s Singles first round match against Nao Hibino of Japan on Day Two of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Seeded No. 12, Muguruza contended she got past Kalinskaya because of her fighting spirit despite not playing her best tennis. With the victory, Muguruza extends her winning streak to eight matches, which comes at the backdrop of clinching the Dubai Tennis Championships last week.

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“Today was proof of that. I felt I didn’t bring my best tennis on court, but I brought my fighting spirit,” added Muguruza. It was Muguruza’s 20th win of the 2021 season, which makes her the tour leader in terms of most wins this season.

A bigger challenge awaits Muguruza

Up next, Muguruza will face No. 8 seed Bianca Andreescu in the fourth round for a place in the quarterfinals. The duo has played only once against each other in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Indian Wells, a match in which Muguruza suffered a humiliating defeat.

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Andreescu will enter the showdown against Muguruza after a tough win against American, Amanda Anisimova, in her third-round match.

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Kshitij Tayal

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Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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