Garbine Muguruza -04- def Sorana Cirstea -38- (ROU) 60 64
Garbine is getting the job done in Doha. Closing-out matches has been an issue, but that’s nothing new. Tennis is a heady game. A match isn’t defined by its hiccups, its defined by how the victor overcomes them.
Muguruza was steady in the Round of 16. Cirstea was errant. The first set bagel reflects it. To put it into perspective, Sorana only earned 8-points in the first.
Garbine started the second with a break, and put eight games on the board before Sorana won one herself. Down 2-breaks, at 1-5, Cirstea upped her game, successfully served to stay in the match, then broke Garbine to make it interesting. Keep in mind, it wasn’t all her. While serving for the match, Muguruza gave up the break with a double fault.
Finally, two games later, Spain’s top-talent reached her second career Qatar Total Open Quarterfinal.
Next up: World #7 Caroline Garcia
It’ll be the World #4 against the World #7 in Doha’s Quarterfinals. They met for the first time last September in Tokyo, where Muguruza won in a quick two sets. Garcia went on to win back-back-titles in Wuhan and Beijing, qualifying for the WTA Finals for the first time. Essentially, Garcia’s loss to Muguruza five months back was her final loss before the win-streak that catapulted her to a career-high ranking. Friday’s Quarterfinal will be interesting.
Sorana Cirstea. A crazy week
Over the weekend, Sorana Cirstea helped lift Romania to April’s Fed Cup World Group Playoffs, and like many others in this year’s draw, had to hop a late flight Sunday to be here in time for the 1st-Round. With straight-sets wins over Maria Sakkari and a top-20 win over Elise Mertens, she notched a Premier-5 Round of 16 run to her belt for the new season.
Falling to the World #4, who has 1994 Wimbledon Champ Conchita Martinez in her corner, is nothing to hang one’s head over.
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
This 27-year-old is one of four Romanians who’ve made it through to the Round of 16 at this year’s Qatar Total Open. A 3-time Finalist on Tour, she owns one WTA Singles title and has been ranked as high as #21 in the World. Last year, she reached the Round of 16 at the Australian Open for the first time, was a Semifinalist in Nurnburg, and earned her 15th career win over a top-10 opponent, defeating Karolina Pliskova at the China Open. A member of her country’s Olympic and Fed Cup Teams, over the weekend she claimed her 16th career Fed Cup victory, lifting Romania to the Fed Cup World Group Playoffs this April. Competing in her 4th Qatar Total Open, yesterday she defeated World #20 Elise Mertens to rech today’s Round of 16 match. From Romania – Please Welcome, Sorana Cirstea