Garbine Muguruza Upsets Defending Finalist Victoria Azarenka in Round 3 Encounter at US Open 2021

Published 09/03/2021, 2:36 PM EDT
Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Garbi–e Muguruza of Spain reacts after defeating Donna Vekic of Croatia (not pictured) on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports


The third round of the women’s singles category at the US Open saw an interesting clash between two former Grand Slam champions. Ninth seed Garbine Muguruza faced 18th seed Victoria Azarenka in the opening match of Day 3 in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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Coming into this match, their head-to-head stood at 2-2. After an intense battle, Muguruza advanced to the fourth round, with the scoreline reading 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Garbine Muguruza vs Victoria Azarenka: Set 1

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The Belarusian started the match by holding her serve in the opening game to go 1-0 up. And Azarenka didn’t stop there, racing to a 40-0 lead in Muguruza’s first service game of the match. Despite the Spaniard coming back to 40-30, she couldn’t stop the 18th seed from breaking her serve and going 2-0 up.

However, Muguruza immediately broke Azarenka’s serve, winning the third game of the set to make it 2-1. After the Spaniard tied the set at 2-2, both players held serve for the next four games, with the score reading 4-4 after eight games.

The turning point came in the ninth game, as Muguruza broke Azarenka’s serve once again to take a crucial 5-4 lead. Serving for the set, the former Wimbledon champion made no mistake in winning the game, and the set 6-4.

Azarenka vs Muguruza: Set 2

Like the first set, Azarenka held her serve once again in the opening game to go 1-0 up. However, the Belarusian kept the momentum going to not only break Muguruza‘s serve, but hold her own to take a 3-0 lead.

Although Muguruza fought back in the fourth game, Azarenka broke her serve once again to take an impressive 4-0 lead. While the Belarusian looked unstoppable, Muguruza broke her serve, much to Azarenka’s disappointment. In fact, the two-time Australian Open champion threw her racket to the ground in frustration.

She responded by breaking the Spaniard to love in the next game to take a 5-1 lead. Despite a late fight from Muguruza, Azarenka sealed the set 6-3 in the ninth game of the set.

Muguruza vs Azarenka: Set 3

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Unlike the first two sets, Muguruza served the first game of the set. This time, the first four games saw no breaks, with the score tied at 2-2.

Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Garbine Muguruza of Spain hits against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in a third round match on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

After taking a 3-2 lead, Muguruza pushed Azarenka throughout the sixth game. After nearly eight minutes, the Spaniard sealed a crucial break to go 4-2 up in the set. The Belarusian, who went 5-2 down in the set, served in the hope of saving the match. However, a double fault towards the end ended those hopes, with Muguruza advancing to the fourth round.

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The 27-year-old will face either French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova or Kamilla Rakhimova after her 2 hours 19 minutes victory.

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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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