For the first time since Wimbledon, Garbiñe Muguruza secured back-to-back wins on the tour to secure her place in the quarter-finals of the 2015 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open. Muguruza achieved this feat in real style as she secured both of her wins in Wuhan with bagel sets. In the second round she defeated Sloane Stephens, 6-2 6-0, dropping just three points in the second set. On Wednesday, Muguruza won 12 of the last 13 games to defeat Ana Ivanovic, 4-6 6-1 6-0. Ivanovic won just nine points in the decider. It was another supreme display from Muguruza who barely put a foot wrong, playing with such intensity and forcing the issue with aggressive, yet consistent play. Like the match against Stephens, she rushed Ivanovic into making mistakes.
Muguruza’s quarter-final opponent is the unseeded, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova who just keeps on winning. Schmiedlova has won 21 matches since Wimbledon which has included a title in Bucharest, semi-finals in Seoul and Bad Gastein, quarter-finals at Cincy and third round at the US Open which matched her best performance at a Slam. Schmiedlova held off Caroline Wozniacki in a second round upset in Wuhan, prevailing 1-6 6-4 7-6(6). If anything, I was just impressed that she was able to back up that win with a relatively straightforward 6-4 6-2 win over Kristina Mladenovic.
Muguruza and Schmiedlova have played each other on two previous occasions with Muguruza prevailing in straight sets at the Australian Open (6-3 6-3, 2014) and the French Open (6-2 6-4, 2014). Schmiedlova will be confident having won so many matches of late and she is beginning to translate that form to the big stage. However, Muguruza’s level in dismantling Stephens and Ivanovic in the final set of their respective matches was something special and *if* she can maintain that intensity and accuracy then I think she is a title contender in Wuhan this week.
Prediction: Muguruza d. Schmiedlova in 2 sets