The opening match of Ladies Quarter Finals day on Court 1 is between two French Open champions in Svetlana Kuznetsova (2009) and Garbine Muguruza (2016). The pair have had varying levels of success on the grass in recent years with Muguruza a Wimbledon finalist two years ago while Kuznetsova is in the last 8 for the first time since 2007.
Despite being the 7th seed, Kuznetsova was never really seen as having much of a chance of winning the title and has been going about her business very quietly. That assessment doesn’t look all that unfair when you see that she had won one match in her three Wimbledon events preceding last year’s, where she made the fourth round. : “When you look at the statistics, it’s amazing, but I felt like I have been there, so it’s just another quarterfinals.” She is yet to drop a set through four matches with the most recent win coming over Agnieszka Radwanska. The Pole has been very poor by her standards but a comeback win against Timea Bacsinszky suggested she may be nudging her way back to form. The way Kuznetsova dismissed her without giving up a break of serve suggests there is a lot to work on still as the head to head moved to 16-4 Kuznetsova.
Muguruza vs Kerber was pinpointed as the match of Monday, which is why it was a disappointment to see it end up on Court 2 rather than one of the two courts above. They showed the schedulers why they were wrong to do so with an epic encounter that Muguruza would edge 4-6 6-4 6-4, finishing with a break to end the match. Kerber had gone 0-8 against top 20 players this year but started well and it looked like she might finally be ninth time lucky. It turned out to not be the case as Muguruza upped her level in the final two sets and finally put paid to Kerber’s chances of maintaining the number one spot. “When you have somebody that it’s so, you know, physically strong, so solid, the more you win free points or make it shorter, it’s better,” Muguruza commented post match. “It’s also part of my game. Like I said before, I like to don’t wait 20 shots. You know, I go for it. Today I think was a key to make short points sometimes.”
Muguruza was the aggressor in that match and will once again take that role in this matchup, a strategy that has worked well for her so far through their 4 meetings. She is 3-1 although they are yet to meet on the grass. The Spaniard has to be favourite to advance although Kuznetsova is in fine form and will never have a better chance to grab a title on her least favoured surface.
Prediction – Garbine Muguruza in straight sets