The match that opened up proceedings on Court No.2 between Garbine Muguruza and Angelique Kerber is one that won’t be forgotten in a while. Muguruza beat Kerber, 7-6(12) 1-6 6-2 in two hours and 34 minutes. The highlight of the match was an INCREDIBLE first set. I’d like to apologise for the ensuing string of adjectives that will come your way.
I’m going to attempt to sum up the first set…
Kerber started in superb form, quickly going up 3-0. Kerber moves so well on the grass and she made a sweet pick up in the game that she broke Muguruza’s serve. Kerber threatened the double break, but Muguruza won eight straight points from *0-3 *15-40 down. The match really started to improve in the seventh game where the pair played back-to-back brilliant rallies with Kerber and then Muguruza winning with a passing shot. The rallies were so great as both players dragged each other around the court. There were also some interesting exchanges at the net. Muguruza saved break points in three consecutive service games to get to 4-4.
The first set kept progressing with serve; Kerber saved a break point to hold to 6-5*. She began to get a little passive as many of the points were being won or lost by Muguruza. Kerber did gut out her best winner of the set in that 5-5 game, a tremendous on-the-run passing shot. She also threw in the first drop shot of the match, which she generally used well later on in the match. The next game would take a WHILE. Muguruza saved five set points, of which quite a few were on stunning winners PLUM on the line. In an eight deuce game that lasted about 15 minutes. Muguruza held.
The first set deserved a tiebreak and that’s what we got. In the first point of the tiebreak…
This was one of the best points i’ve ever seen. It was a 33 stroke rally and it just had EVERYTHING.
There was a brief lull after this point. Kerber took advantage of some lapse play from Muguruza to go up 5-2, but then handed it back on a plate with a double fault and some more sloppy play. Kerber maintained her lead and kept bringing up set points. Muguruza kept saving them like a boss. Sixth set point saved, winner down-the-line. Eight set point saved, return winner.
Finally Muguruza brought up her first set point… error long! Kerber brought up her ninth set point but once again, Muguruza dashed hopes with another winner on the line. Muguruza was fearless on the set points and ridiculously clincial. Muguruza failed to convert on her third set point at 12-11 but on her fourth set point, Muguruza finally brought an end to a quite majestic set of tennis that lasted 83 minutes. Kerber missed nine set points. The crucial stat of the set: Kerber was 1 out of 12 on break points.
Kerber came back admirably to win the second set, 6-1. Muguruza had somewhat of a letdown as Kerber kept her cool and took advantage of the Spaniard having a breather. The third set featured more staggering rallies. It was Muguruza who really stepped up to the plate with some quite breathtaking hitting. Kerber did well to save four break points at *1-3 down including digging out a *0-40 hold. Kerber got it to deuce in Muguruza’s next service game, but two aces from the Spaniard kept her ahead. Muguruza went on to win the final two games of the match including a winner on match point that required a hawkeye challenge.
This match was all about Garbine who really came good on the grass for the first time in her career. Garbine played a sensational match and hit 57 winners to 43 unforced errors, while Kerber finished with stats of 33 winners to 15 unforced errors. I really like Garbine but i’m not going to lie, i’m gutted for Angie because it felt like she could go deep with this draw. She looked so sad at the end 😦 Garbine goes through to play Caroline Wozniacki in what should be a fascinating fourth round match.