Perhaps it’s just me but this is my FAVOURITE of the women’s quarter-finals. Garbine Muguruza and Timea Bacsinszky have reached back-to-back quarter-finals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon which is an awesome effort from both. Even more noteworthy is that Muguruza and Bacsinszky had never previously made it past the second round at Wimbledon. Both Garbine and Timea were not names that were mentioned as players to watch out for at Wimbledon; Garbine has never looked comfortable on the grass, while Timea didn’t play any grass court warm-up tournaments and essentially came in cold after losing in the semi-finals of Roland Garros.
Step forward, grass court Garbine. The Spaniard had a tough second round match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni which she won in three sets and then secured back-to-back wins over Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki, two of the hardest players to put away. The match against Kerber, which Muguruza won 7-6(12) 1-6 6-2, was stunning as i’ve already bleeted on about before. Her match against Wozniacki wasn’t as high quality but it was still an entertaining watch. If anything, it was more impressive as she was able to back up the win over Kerber.
Against Wozniacki, Muguruza played the big points well and continued to come into the net, winning 23 out of 28 points at the net. Garbine closed it out, after saving a break point, with a fizzing ace out wide that was PLUM on the line. Muguruza won, 6-4 6-4, as Wozniacki failed to break into a first Wimbledon quarter-final. It hasn’t quite happened for the Dane this year; she heads into the summer hard court season where she should be most at home, but has a ton of points to defend.
Bacsinszky produced a gutsy display to defeat Monica Niculescu in three sets, 1-6 7-5 6-2. We were a set away from Niculescu in the quarters of Wimbledon which would have been all kinds of crazy. Bacsinszky, who was bamboozled by Niculescu’s defence game in the first set, fought hard and showed her ability to solve problems on the court as she served out the second set at the second time of asking before coming through the third set relatively comfortably. Bacsinszky let out an ear-piercing scream at the end and genuinely looked overwhelmed at what she had just achieved.
In their only previous match, Muguruza defeated Bacsinszky, 6-3 4-6 6-0 at the Australian Open earlier this year. Both players have peaked at the Slams this year. Muguruza had a substantial dip between February and May, but Bacsinszky has been steadily improving all year and it’s the belief in her game that has really shone through for me. Muguruza’s game has clicked on the grass for the first time this fortnight and she’s done magnificently well to come through her last two matches. She looked shaky before both Roland Garros and Wimbledon but has saved her best tennis for the big ones. Of course, there’s a prediction to come but I hope you all read this preview and understand that trying to separate these two is TOUGH. I’m going with my original instinct… Timea.
Prediction: Bacsinszky d. Muguruza in 3 sets