“She’s Having a Big Breakthrough” – Garbine Muguruza Prepares For Match Against Coco Gauff at Italian Open 2020

Published 09/15/2020, 5:28 PM EDT
Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 15, 2020 Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Sloane Stephens of the U.S. Pool via REUTERS/Riccardo Antimiani


Two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza sailed through the second round of Italian Open 2020 by knocking out Sloane Stephens in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. On a rainy day in Rome, the Spaniard fired 22 winners and broke Stephens four times to storm into the second round of the tournament.

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Up next, Garbine Muguruza will play 16-year-old Coco Gauff in the second of Rome event. Gauff is making her debut in the tournament and in her first match in Rome, she defeated Australian Open quarterfinalist Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-3. It was Coco’s first-ever career WTA main draw victory on the clay surface.

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 15, 2020 Sloane Stephens of the U.S. during her first-round match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza Pool via REUTERS/Riccardo Antimiani

“It’s a good match, I’ve never played against her,” Muguruza shared on her match against Coco. “I’m looking forward to playing as many matches as possible. She’s playing great and she’s having a big breakthrough, so I’m looking forward to it.” 

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Garbine Muguruza on court conditions

Muguruza reflected on the rainy conditions in Rome, which forced a delay in her match against former French Open finalist Stephens after the opening set.

“It was a very tough first round,” Muguruza said. “I think I played well and I had the right game plan today against her. You never know how it’s going to go because it’s been a while since I’ve played, and it’s my first match on clay, and the conditions were difficult.” 

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Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 15, 2020, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza shields from the rain during her first-round match against Sloane Stephens of the U.S. Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill

“Despite all of that, I still managed to play at a high level and stay solid throughout the match. It was unexpected because I checked the weather and it seemed like it was okay. But I just had to adapt. I knew I had a tough match against Sloane, she’s also a great player on clay.”

At the US Open 2020, Garbine lost to Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets. Bulgarian ace Pironkova was playing her first tournament in three years. She managed to topple 10th seed Muguruza in New York.

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As for Stephens, she lost to Serena Williams in three sets in the third round.

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Mahalakshmi Murali

1906 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

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