World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza had to go the distance against qualifier Magda Linette for a hard-fought 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 win in two hours and three minutes to secure a place in the last eight of the Wuhan Open.
Prior to the match virtually nobody foresaw the match going into a third set – with everybody expecting Muguruza to wrap things up in two sets.
The No.1 seed was befitting of her ranking as she fired 10 winners and conceded a paltry three points behind her own delivery over the course of a dominant opening set.
World No.88, Linette consistently attempted to keep the ball away from Muguruza’s vicious backhand, however the strategy failed to pay off because the top seed’s forehand was clicking, her volleys were on point and her movement was blistering as she repeatedly chased down Linette’s drop shots without burning out.
Linette did so well for herself as she broke the top seed twice in the 2nd set to lead 5-0 before Muguruza finally picked up a game courtesy of her service shortly after a brief pause to dry the courts following a rain shower. Linette then held her serve to stun the most ranked female tennis player in the 2nd set 6-1.
In the third & final set both players upped their game, though Muguruza’s forehand remained a bit questionable.
She began to strike her backhand with its usual violence, while Linette was displaying great on-court canniness with her use of cross-court angles and drop shots.
Muguruza will next face fellow 2017 Grand Slam winner who came through a three-set tussle today in Jelena Ostapenko In the quarterfinals.
Just like Muguruza, Ostapenko overcame a qualifier in the person of Monica Puig.
The victory was also identical to that of Muguruza, as She won the 1st set expectedly, lost the 2nd and then redeemed herself in the 3rd to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Muguruza has won all of her previous meetings against Ostapenko. Both victories came on clay surfaces at the Rome Masters in 2016 and 2017.