Thursday, 19 January 2017

Muguruza wins tight 2nd round

Samantha Crawford surprised with her first round win over fellow American Lauren Davis.  Lauren had just over a week back won her maiden WTA title in Auckland so would logically have expected to prevail over Samantha.
Garbine will be an even bigger shock should Samantha decide to defeat the 7th seeded Venezuelan born Spaniard.
The Muguruza performance in the opening round was sound without setting the world on fire, and left plenty of room for improvement.  Marina Erakovic provided a good test for her.

Tonight's match on Rod Laver Arena is the first between these two women, and a chance for Garbine to progress to the third round (having made it to the round of sixteen twice - 2014, 2015.)

Crawford served first and soon was down break points due to unforced errors.  The first was saved but on the second a winning Spanish forehand did the trick and Muguruza had just the start she wanted. 
Forehands from the American helped her to a break back point but a sweet backhand saved the day for Garbine who led 2-0.

From 30-0 Crawford donated four straight points to the Muguruza charity through unforced errors, and another service break resulted.  Unhappy with the extent of her own generosity, Samantha took some of it back straight away the next game, securing one break back with a great backhand.

This proved to be one of the turning points of the match, and Crawford smashed two aces and drilled another winning backhand to celebrate.  The love game on serve put her in reach on the scoreboard, and Muguruza felt the pressure.
More blazing winners had Garbine facing three break points, all of which she saved.  A fourth however was beyond her, and games were now 3-3, momentum well and truly with Samantha who was hitting beautifully and finding all the right places on the court.

Crawford saved two break points en route to her fourth successive game, and after exchanging a couple of service holds it was 4-5 with Muguruza potentially just four points away from losing the set.

Starting with an ace, the game was never in doubt and 5-5 was achieved.
Crawford, thanks to some loose backhands landed in dangerous territory at 0-30, and despite dragging it back to 30-30, could not resist the pressure brought to bear by Muguruza who converted a break point with a winning backhand.

At 30-0, all was looking terrific for the seventh seed as she served for the set, but two delightful backhands from Crawford rattled the Spanish bones just a touch.
The double fault on her first set point fed the drama nicely, but all ended swimmingly for the Garbine fan club when the final point of set one was decided in her favour.
Somehow through all of that Muguruza led 7-5.

Both players found holding serve a much easier proposition in the early stages of set two and took until the sixth game before either was even taken to deuce.  This was Muguruza who found herself there due to another winner from the Crawford forehand. It was only a minor nuisance and games were tied at 3-3.

Crawford served a love game, impressively moving Muguruza all around the court and forcing a series of errant shots.  Muguruza had little to do on her serve in reply except hit the ball over the net and watch the mistakes flow off the American racquet.
4-4 and the pressure was mounting.

At 40-30, after just belting another winner Samantha let Garbine in with an unforced error.  Another game point was gone when a Muguruza forehand gem was released.
The first break point of the game morphed into a service break when Samantha Crawford's first double fault of the match made its appearance.

Muguruza would be serving for the match at 5-4.

The best Crawford could do was hit another winner to bring the score to 30-30. It was her final point for the match which was won 7-5 6-4 by Garbine Muguruza.

Most of the individual highlights in the match were probably supplied by Crawford who hit a truckload of winners, but she also made too many mistakes, and Muguruza kept her slate clean enough to squeeze through to another third round of the Aus Open.

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