Muguruza defeats battling Mertens to reach Dubai final | Tennis News – Eagles Vine

DUBAI: Garbine Muguruza needed seven match points to overcome a stubborn Elise Mertens and advance to her third final of the season, and second in as many weeks, in Dubai on Friday.
The ninth-seeded Spaniard, who is searching for a first title since Monterrey in 2019, has now reached the championship match at three of the five tournaments she contested in 2021.
Her 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) success over Mertens takes her tour-leading match-wins tally this year to 17 and she’ll be bidding for a maiden Dubai crown when she faces either Jil Teichmann or Barbora Krejcikova in the final on Saturday.
“I’m very excited, I think it’s great always to be in the final and to have these opportunities of holding the trophies. It’s been a tough tournament here, many matches, and I’m just very excited to be able to have the last one tomorrow,” said the two-time Grand Slam champion.
A nervy start from both saw Mertens and Muguruza trade breaks early on but it was the Spaniard who steadied the ship first to lead 4-1.
The Belgian had saved three match points in the previous round against Jessica Pegula and wasn’t going to go down without a fight. With Muguruza serving for the opening set, the 10th seed capitalised on a double fault from her opponent and broke serve with a passing shot that stumped Muguruza at the net.
The comeback attempt was halted in the very next game however as Muguruza slammed a backhand down the line to secure the set on the 52-minute mark.
Mertens used her incredible variety to stave off three break points and hold for 1-1 in the second set and they remained neck and neck until Muguruza created an opening to inch ahead 5-3.
That was never going to be enough against a fighter like Mertens, who saved a match point as Muguruza was serving for a place in the final and broke to narrow her deficit to 4-5. Mixing the pace with high balls and slices, Mertens saved three more match points in the next game and broke the Muguruza serve to lead 6-5.
Mertens’ run of games stopped at three in a row as she failed to serve out the set and the duel fittingly went to a tiebreak. The former world No.1 went up 6-3 in the breaker and finally closed out the win on her seventh match point with some brave play at the net.
“It took me quite a few match points to close the match. She is a very talented player, always gives you an extra ball back. I’m just happy I could close it in two sets,” said the 27-year-old Muguruza.
“You have to be all the time concentrated, if not, the opponent will come back and take the advantage, even if I was 5-3 up and had match points, I didn’t lose the focus, even if I couldn’t close it there, I just kept looking forward for the next opportunity.”

The Times of India

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper and digital news media owned and managed by The Times Group. According to Audit Bureau of Circulations, it is ranked 9th in the world by circulation and 3rd in India.

Related Articles

Back to top button