Australian Open 2017, Quarter-Final Preview for Tuesday: Garbiñe Muguruza v CoCo Vandeweghe

Muguruza

A heavy-hitting clash between Garbiñe Muguruza and CoCo Vandeweghe will be on Tuesday’s schedule with a first ever Australian Open semi-final appearance up for grabs for the winner.

Vandeweghe scored the biggest win of her career on Sunday evening, comfortably seeing off the world number one, Angelique Kerber, 6-2 6-3. It was a lacklustre display from the German player who has struggled for rhythm so far in 2017. Kerber couldn’t find the depth on her groundstrokes as Vandeweghe rolled through the last four games of the first set and the last five games of the second set; in the latter, the American recovered from an early break down and played a terrific return game at 4-3.

To be honest, i’ve seen Vandeweghe play better than this – she had the brief detour at the start of the second set and the serve was good, not great with just 51% first serves in. Vandeweghe was put under little pressure from Kerber and it was more than enough to seal a safe passage into the quarters. Vandeweghe performed strongly in her singles matches at the Hopman Cup and has had an excellent week in Melbourne, also defeating the likes of Roberta Vinci and Eugenie Bouchard.

Muguruza is yet to drop a set in Melbourne as she enjoyed her most straightforward win of the tournament so far, a 6-2 6-3 victory over Sorana Cirstea in 65 minutes. Muguruza’s groundstrokes were continually well placed as she effectively moved Cirstea from side-to-side and she was rock solid from the baseline, committing just nine unforced errors.

Muguruza also played the big points well as she saved the three break points that she faced on serve. Muguruza looked relaxed in her press conference and she seems to be enjoying her tennis again after a relatively rocky six months after winning her first Slam at Roland Garros last year.

Head-to-head record: Vandeweghe leads the head-to-head, 2-1 with both her wins coming on the grass in 2014 at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (7-6(3) 6-1) and Wimbledon (6-3 3-6 7-5). I watched the latter of those matches live where Vandeweghe needed about 11 or 12 match points to win. In their most recent clash, Muguruza defeated Vandeweghe in straight sets at Cincinnati, 7-6(4) 6-2.

Interesting stat: In the last year, Vandeweghe has won five of her last six matches against top ten opposition (Bencic, Suárez Navarro, Radwanska, Vinci & Kerber). The only top ten loss was against none other than Muguruza in Cincy last year.

Final thoughts: Vandeweghe is obviously building bundles of confidence in match play and as she said in her post-match interview, she’s gunning for her target of a Slam semi-final in 2017. This will likely be Muguruza’s most testing match of the tournament but I like how the Spaniard is competing right now. She’s playing the big points well and her serve and groundstrokes have both been reliable. While Vandeweghe’s peak form probably tops Muguruza’s, I think that the American is still prone to a mid-match wander. While she had time to recover against Kerber from a blip at the start of the second set, i’m not sure she’ll be afforded the same opportunity against an in-form Muguruza.

Photo in this post by mootennis.com

19 thoughts on “Australian Open 2017, Quarter-Final Preview for Tuesday: Garbiñe Muguruza v CoCo Vandeweghe

  1. I thought Muguruza played sublime tennis and I think she’ll feel less pressure than Coco about getting this win. She’s playing with no expectations right now, much like Angie did last year. As a Serena fan I’m concerned. She’s shaping up to be the WTA Wawrinka.

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  2. On the subject of dresses, Cibulkova’s new two tone dress makes her look short and fat on the monitor. Cib should go back to the one color dress of last year. Last years dress was a much better fit for her body type.

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  3. I’ve noticed one thing about muguruza that she can hardly turn around her h2h against hard hitters. For example 0 wins against keys and pliskova, sharapova . Kind of goes the same with coco with just exception of their last match that I don’t know whether coco lost it or muguruza won it. So I think coco is going to be the semifinalist. She’s got wins against serena Williams but her play matches with her but not against the players mentioned earlier.

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      • Coco is playing exceptionally well, she is reminding me of peak Serena the way she is literally bashing every ball, the way she played against Muguruza, she looked unstoppable to me and as if even Serena wont be able to stop her. She is hitting everything hard and everything is landing in. Coco has routed two of the grand slam winners from last year!

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      • I forgot to mention petkovic’s name. She also has a favorable h2h against muguruza and muguruza can’t even turn that around. Actually what I feel is that muguruza just knows to hit the ball for winner and she doesn’t slice the ball to keep it in play. That gets awkward if the other player is a hard hitter as well. you cannot hit winner every time you play so she gets a little defensive against them and her defense falls her apart especially against those who can slice a little better and are hard hitters at the same time. coco is just a plain example for this

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  4. This year’s open seems to have been good to hitters and base line players. Guessing the surface and weather conditions have been favourable. I think whoever can maintain a high level of smart consistent hitting will win it. Doubles seems to have helped Coco with her net play too. But, Muguruza is quite adaptable. If intensities match, Muguruza will be in it with a good chance. I like Garbine and I’m going with heart, picking her. There is a potential of having 3 Americans in the semis and Jennifer Brady had a good run too.

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  5. Actually Mugu looses her matches usually because of she is going for too much, but here she looks really prepared to play whatever she needs to win. Coco destroyed Kerber, but Kerber played more like a sparing partner then competitor… Every ball from Kerber went right in the Coco’s striking zone. So I guess Coco is not that good it could looks like, but we will see.

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    • Kerber was outplayed by Coco. It is not like she wants to play like a sparring partner. It will be a good match. I will not underestimate Coco. So far, Muguruza has not been tested. Who knows when she faces a hard hitter consistently returns with bombastic shots.

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      • Well she got wiped of the court. She and Kerber had ridiculous draws. The players with tough draws will prevail and are prevailing.

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    • Aside from the her aggressive, arrogant and childish behaviour on and off the court? There’s speculation that she supports Donald Trump, which was started by Nicole Gibbs on twitter and I’m inclined to believe it’s true. I simply don’t like her personality. She comes across as a spoiled, privileged little rich white kid.

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      • oh i see…. i just think she’s a breath of fresh air with her antics, makes a change from everyone else with their fake nicey nice….just my angle of looknig at it tho…but i personal life i know nothing about.

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  6. Bouchard’s 3 set challenge against Coco is looking good now. Coco is riding the momentum well. I will give her the edge over Venus all things being equal, unless she begins to suffer some kind of a letdown. Shame Garbine couldn’t rise up to the challenge, still there is something I enjoy about power baseline tennis when it is working as CoCo is playing now.

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    • Exactly based on how she has played so far, Coco is the clear favorite over Venus, though I really want Venus to win the AO. Hoping something goes wrong in Coco’s game and Venus goes into final.

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