The highlight of the the women’s draw on Friday has to be the clash between Elina Svitolina and Garbine Muguruza. Between injuries and loss of form, these players have had better years than this one but a good run this tournament could be a big step on the way back to their best. A potential thriller with Sloane Stephens awaits the winner if the American also advances.
Watch the Muguruza vs Svitolina Live Stream Here.
Svitolina will be rested after Kateryna Kozlova withdrew in the last round but she may well have preferred the time on court. She is still low on matches after a couple of months off, followed by opening round losses in Madrid and Rome. Her knee is still a concern but the pain appears to be going away, per her BBC blog. “As well as resting mentally, the two days off will be important for my knee’s recovery.” she said following her first round match. “I didn’t feel any pain on Sunday but we try to take one day at a time.”
Muguruza won the title here 3 years ago and was a World No.1 but had fallen to as low as 20 earlier in the year. Her explosive game has just not been clicking for large parts but she will hope to find her form at the event that thrust her into the limelight as what seemed a potential superstar at the time. She eased past Johanna Larsson in round two, looking far more consistent on both sides. “I think it was a better match than the first one,” she said. “I think we had some great rallies. I could control a little bit more my nerves this match.”
The pair go back as far as 2012, where they played slam qualifiers at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Muguruza won both of them but it has been almost all Svitolina since with the Ukranian leading the head to head 5-3 overall. “I’m highly motivated because she’s one of the top players right now,” said Muguruza, who was thrashed 6-1 6-2 in their lone meeting this year. “We played excellent matches, long rallies, and very different matches. It’s going to be interesting.”
Prediction – Garbine Muguruza in three sets