Women’s Wimbledon 2016, 1st Round Preview: Garbiñe Muguruza v Camila Giorgi

Giorgi

The French Open champion, Garbiñe Muguruza faces a potentially testing opener as she takes on the world number 68, Camila Giorgi in the first round of Wimbledon on Monday.

Muguruza will not only being playing her first Slam since her  triumph in Paris but she’s also defending finals points after glorious run at Wimbledon in 2015 where she defeated Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Timea Bacsinszky and Agnieszka Radwanska all in a row. Muguruza has a ruthless streak about her and although she’s had some shaky moments in the crucial moments of matches, against Serena Williams in the French Open final she was reasonably calm, cool and collected, holding her nerve to win a brilliant final.

Muguruza headed to the new tournament in Mallorca for her grass court preparations. Unsurprisingly, she lost in the first round to Kirsten Flipkens, 3-6 4-6. So soon after the French Open, it was a tough ask to adjust and against an opponent who likes grass and has made the semi-finals of Wimbledon before. It has given Muguruza plenty of time to prepare for Wimbledon but perhaps the lack of competitive matches could be an issue.

To demonstrate how Giorgi’s year has panned out, the Italian player was actually seeded at Wimbledon last year. She endured a miserable May and June on the tour, and hasn’t won back-to-back matches since Prague in April. This may have had something to do with cutting ties with the Italian Federation earlier this year (see here). Giorgi was practising a lot in Eastbourne, but has yet to win a set on grass this year, losing her opening matches to Heather Watson (Birmingham) and Timea Babos (Eastbourne).

Head-to-head record: Giorgi leads Muguruza in their head-to-head, 2-1. Giorgi won their first two matches in Madrid (6-1 1-6 6-3, 2013) and New Haven (6-4 6-7 6-2, 2014). Muguruza won their most recent match at the French Open last year, 6-1 6-4. The Spaniard had a little wobble at the end but got the job done in straight sets.

Interesting stat: Giorgi hasn’t lost in the first round of Wimbledon since her first appearance in the main draw back in 2011. Wimbledon is the only Slam where she has a positive W-L record at 8-5.

Final thoughts: On paper, this is a difficult match for Muguruza and it will be fascinating to see how the Spaniard copes mentally with the situation. Quotes from her press conference today (see link from WTA Insider above) allude to the drop-off in form she witnessed after reaching the Wimbledon final last year and she is not taking anything for granted. Muguruza could be vulnerable, but Giorgi’s recent form has been disappointing and it would seem unlikely to me that she will be able to capitalise. I think Muguruza will be prepared and fully aware of the tennis that Giorgi can produce… Muguruza for the win.

Photo in this post by mootennis.com

9 thoughts on “Women’s Wimbledon 2016, 1st Round Preview: Garbiñe Muguruza v Camila Giorgi

  1. Giorgi is dangerous when she hits free and without pressure, and when she starts to hit stride she can play lights out and start to steam roll. But I think Muguruza being such an aggressive return of serve will really hamper Camilla getting to that point. I’d expect Muguruza to come through in 2.

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  2. I guess it’s not as easy as it sounds by Camilla really needs to abandon that serve. Most of the time she just beats herself and makes it so easy on her opponent.

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    • A few players now seem to adopt this tactic of doing two first serves instead of a first and a second and it hardly ever works out for them. Puig is the only player I can think of who seems to do well by it, now that Sharapova isn’t playing. She throws in doubles but usually not enough to hamper her too much.

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  3. There’s a lot of pressure and a new expectation for Muguruza. After winning the French Open, she already dropped her opener in Mallorca. Considering that she is against Camila Giorgi, a dangerous opponent, in the first round, it may be more difficult for Muguruza to keep up with the Giorgi crosscourt backhand. My prediction is either Giorgi in two tight sets, or she’ll upset Muguruza in three sets.

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  4. Giorgi has nothing to lose in this match. She can beat anyone if she is on. This match is very unpredictable indeed. Frankly speaking, it can go either way.

    Muguruza is not Serena who can play on any surface without any good preparation. People may be over- estimated her. See what happened to Kerber after winning her first GS.

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  5. Camila Giorgi’s disappointing season has nothing to do with the problems with the Italian Federation.
    The real reason is the back injury that compelled her to retire from the Madrid tournament (her first retirement in ten years of professional tennis) after a victory in the first round over the clay specialist Sara Errani.
    She was then forced to skip Rome and Strasbourg (where she was seed #6), played in Roland Garros in a bad condition, but a slam cannot be skipped, to win against the irrelevant Lim, but loosing the next match.

    The physical condition was not recovered, probably worsened by the mandatory appearance in Paris, so she had to withdraw from the next ‘s Hertogenbosch tournament, where she was defending champion.

    Actually she returned to the court only in Birmingham and Eastbourne, but still not physically fully recovered, just to collect another couple of losses, although fighting.

    Practically for the muscular problem at the back she has not been able to play in 3 tournaments where she was in the entry list, and has arrived to the grass season, her favourite, not yet fully recovered.
    Probably now she is physically almost OK, but she cannot have any confidence, so I guess she will be able to display only a weak resistance.
    The bad luck of being paired with the seed #2 hits her in the worst moment.

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