An intriguing first round match takes place tomorrow afternoon between budding talent Garbine Muguruza and Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm. The match marks the first time these two competitors meet on the professional tour, brining their head-to-head to 0-0.
At 43 years of age, Kimiko Date-Krumm is having a rough start to her 2014 season. The Japanese athlete is 1-3 since the start of the season, picking up a victory in Brisbane before losing consecutive matches in Sydney and then at the Australian Open to budding Swiss talent Belinda Bencic. The consecutive losses have significantly impacted her ranking, as she dropped 25 spaces from world No. 80 to No. 105.
Date-Krumm will be looking to turn her luck around as she begins her week in Pattaya, Thailand. She has been dealt yet another young talent in the opening round and it will be interesting to see if she will have any answers for the Spaniard’s aggressive play.
While Kimiko may be on a downturn in her career, Garbine Muguruza is certainly on an upswing in hers. The Spanish athlete won the first WTA title of her career in Hobart several weeks back, where she defeated the likes of Kirsten Flipkens and Klara Zakopalova to lift her first career title. She harnessed that momentum at the Australian Open, where she defeated Kaia Kanepi and Caroline Wozniacki before losing to Radwanska in the fourth round.
While Muguruza finished her 2013 season ranked at No. 64, her fantastic start to 2014 has pushed her to No. 35 in the WTA rankings, a few places away from becoming a seed at the next Grand Slam event. She comes into this contest with a 13-2 record, having only lost to Venus Williams and Radwanska this season.
This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. Date-Krumm has been far from her best since the start of the 2014 season and has paid the price in terms of her rankings collapse. Her main trouble comes against competitors that are far younger than she is, such as Muguruza, who is 23 years younger than Kimiko. Bubbling with strength and stamina, the Spaniard should be able to control the contest and earn a straight sets victory to reach the second round of the event.
Prediction: Garbine Muguruza in Straight Sets