Garbine Muguruza Battles to Take Out Aryna Sabalenka From WTA Dubai 2021

Published 03/11/2021, 12:02 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Spain’s Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning her third round match against Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


World No. 8 and third seed at WTA Dubai Tennis Championships, Aryna Sabalenka was ousted from the WTA 1000 tournament by two-time Grand Slam champ Garbine Muguruza. Muguruza advanced into the semifinals as the scorecard read- 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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Muguruza had defeated reigning French Open champ Iga Swiatek in the earlier round. The Spanish player was the ninth seed, whereas Sabalenka was the third seed. Muguruza now leads the head-to-head against Sabalenka after today’s victory.

Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning her third-round match against Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake.

Aryna Sabalenka’s perfect first set

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The first game saw Muguruza put pressure on Aryna Sabalenka‘s serve. She had a breakpoint saved by Sabalenka. But soon, Muguruza’s pressure withered off, and Sabalenka grew in the match. Sabalenka brought her best return game against Muguruza at 2-1. She quickly broke her to lead the first set, 3-1.

Furthermore, pressure on Muguruza grew as she was having trouble keeping her shots inside the legal markings. Sabalenka used her long flat forehand frequently to shut off Muguruza and served for the set at 5-3. She needed a second chance to convert the setpoint and took the opening set, 6-3.

Garbine Muguruza’s comeback

The lackluster second serves and forehand drive from Muguruza awarded Sabalenka a break in the first game of the second set. Sabalenka’s relentless attack forced Muguruza to make mistakes. But Muguruza showed signs of revival as she won the break back in the very next game to level it 1-1.

Sabalenka’s return game decreased as Muguruza targeted her backhand. Furthermore, Muguruza’s backhand was firing on all cylinders as she made a comeback to win four games in a row to lead 4-1. Frustration reigned supreme for Sabalenka as Muguruza increased to 5-3. Muguruza then completed a clean service game to win the second set.

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Garbine Muguruza at her best

Muguruza and Sabalenka traded each other’s service games as the third set was leveled at 2-2. But Sabalenka had a shocking service game that had mis-hits and double faults. Muguruza broke Sabalenka and stretched to a comfortable 4-2 lead in the decider.

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Sabalenka was angry at herself for missing multiple backhands, and Muguruza broke the Belarusian for the second time in the third set to lead 5-2. The Spaniard had a regular service game to win the match, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1091 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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