Round 2. Day 2. Garbine Muguruza

Tennis Emcee Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018. Round-2. Day-2. Garbine Muguruza

Tennis Emcee. Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018 / Photo: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
[04] Garbine Muguruza -04- (ESP) def [Q] Ying-Ying Duan -105- (CHN) 63 64

During week-1 of the new season, reigning Wimbledon Champ Garbine Muguruza still wasn’t 100%. She has struggled with pain in her right thigh for over a year now. It’s a frustrating, nagging injury that forced her to retire from five matches in 2017.

Back in January, she opened the new year in Brisbane, and retired from her opening match with Aleksandra Krunic, down 1-2 in the decider. The next week she withdrew from Sydney, then fell to the World #88 Hsieh Su-Wei in the 2nd-Round of the Australian Open.

Tuesday’s 2nd-Round clash with qualifier Ying-Ying Duan was her first time back on court in exactly one month.

Injury? What injury?

Rusty out of the gate, Garbine gave up a break in game-1, but gained it right back. She broke Duan again after the first changeover and held the rest of the way to take set-1.

Up 5-1 in the second, the World #4 simply couldn’t put the qualifier away. Duan held to reach 5-2, then earned a decisive break to keep the match alive. During Ying-Ying’s next service game, Muguruza missed on five match points, but finally held for the victory, winning it on match point #8.

On court after the win, Garbine credited Duan for stepping-up with the match on the line, and said: “It doesn’t matter how many match points you lose, as long as you win the match.”

Untaped and in rhythm

Muguruza’s thigh appeared to be a non-issue on Tuesday. With zero match-time over the past month, confidence in key moments may be Garbine’s kryptonite.

That said, over the weekend she revealed her new secret weapon: Coach Conchita Martinez, who was a regular advisor during Muguruza’s Wimbledon victory last year. Now a full-time partnership, Conchita’s main focus isn’t necessarily what happens between the lines, it’s what’s happening between Garbine’s ears.

Garbine Muguruza

At 24-years-old, she is a 2-time Grand Slam Champion. She won her first Major title at the 2016 French Open, defeating World #1 Serena Williams in straight-sets. Then last July, in her third career Grand Slam Final, she defeated Venus Williams to earn the title at Wimbledon. Over the Summer, she won her 5th WTA Singles title in Cincinnati, made her 10th career Grand Slam Round of 16 appearance at the US Open, and became the #1 player in the World for the first time; ending 2017 by reaching the WTA Finals Singapore for the third consecutive year. A member of her country’s Olympic and Fed Cup Teams, she was a Quarterfinalist at the Summer Games in Rio and a doubles finalist at the 2015 WTA Finals. Competing in her 4th Qatar Total Open, from Spain – Please welcome the #4 player in the world, Garbine Muguruza

Ying Ying Duan

Over the weekend, this 28-year-old played through qualifying to reach Doha’s main-draw for the first time; and yesterday, defeated Wild Card Ons Jabeur in straight-sets to reach tonight’s 2nd-Round match. This time last year, she’d reached the Quarterfinals in Sydney and made her Grand Slam 3rd-Round debut at the Australian Open. Then in April, she reached the Semifinals in Zhengzhou and climbed to a career-high ranking inside the WTA’s top-60. She ended the year by winning back to back doubles titles at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai and the WTA 125-Series event in Thailand. 2-years-ago, she earned her first singles title in Nanchang, and is competing in her 4th Qatar Total Open. From China – Please welcome, Duan Ying-Ying