Italian Open 2021: Elina Svitolina vs Garbine Muguruza – Preview, Head-to-Head, Prediction

Published 05/13/2021, 2:53 AM EDT
Tennis – WTA 500 – Stuttgart Open – Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany – April 23, 2021 Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina reacts during her quarter final match against Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat


The WTA 1000 in Rome saw numerous big upsets in the R32 matches. However, the fifth seed Elina Svitolina and 12th seed Garbine Muguruza survived and will face each other in the next round.

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Since the Italian Open is the last big tournament before the French Open, they will both look forward to spending more time here. But between the two, only one can go through to the quarterfinals.

The WTA Rome upset list includes Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep (retired), Sofia Kenin, Petra Kvitova, and Belinda Bencic.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Garbine Muguruza: Preview

The 26-year-old Ukrainian has had a tough few tournaments lately. Firstly, she lost two consecutive semifinals to Australian World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in Miami and Stuttgart. Following that, she fell out in her opening match at the previous event, the Madrid Open.

Tennis – WTA 500 – Stuttgart Open – Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany – April 24, 2021 Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina in action during her semi final match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat

Thus, Elina Svitolina will want to undoubtedly go all the way in Italy. Coming back from a set down, she defeated American Amanda Anisimova 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to book the seat against the Spaniard.

Meanwhile, the two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza has shown great hope this season. Moreover, she also found success in the Middle East as the runner-up of the Qatar Open and winner of the Dubai Championships.

Looking to improve her 21-6 record, she has already sidelined two opponents in Rome. Her wins came against Romanian Patricia Tig 6-1, 6-2, and American Bernarda Pera 2-6, 6-0, 7-5.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Spain’s Garbine Muguruza during her fourth round match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Hence, Muguruza will hope to recover from her last match and bring her best against the Ukrainian star.

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Svitolina vs. Muguruza: Head-to-Head

Elina has a 6-5 lead against Garbine in their head-to-head history. It indicates that their 12th battle will also be toe-to-toe. They last met at the Australian Open last year, where Muguruza won comfortably in straight sets.

Also, specifically on clay, the Spaniard is 2-1 ahead of the Ukrainian. In 2017, they met in Rome, where Muguruza retired after trailing 1-4 in the first set. It also accounted for Elina’s only clay-court win against her 2016 French Open winner.

Svitolina vs. Muguruza: Prediction

Inarguably, they both are exceptional clay-courters. However, strategic gameplay and consistent intensity are essential to winning a match on red soil.

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For this reason, the Spaniard has a fair advantage over her next opponent. Garbine’s mindfulness on the court and her lightning strokes should help her qualify for the next round. But admittedly, Elina is also a fighter and can turn the tables in this match.

The winner will meet the reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek or Barbora Krejcikova in the quarterfinals. Who do you think will win between Svitolina and Muguruza?

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Prediction: Muguruza def. Svitolina in three sets.

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Purav Joshi

1122 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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