China Open, Beijing
Women’s Semifinal: [CR5] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) vs. [CR8] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
Muguruza fought off the challenge from Radwanska. Hobbled by a right thigh injury and unable to move as freely as she usually does, Muguruza struggled through the first set. It appeared that she may even have considered retiring from the match after she lost the first set. Yet, Muguruza showed that she can be just as determined and persevered in this match despite the injury. The last time Radwanska defeated Muguruza was in 2014. Although she still has the tactical game, she runs into difficulty because she lacks a powerful finishing shot. Against a player like Muguruza who hits big off the ground and on serve, she had to be precise and hope for some errors. She got just that in the final game of the set and broke due to errors from Muguruza.
Although she won the first set, there was not much conviction in her game. Radwanska’s serve was just a tad off and she was forced to work harder in the rallies to protect her serve. Unfortunately, today, she came up short as she was unable to counter Muguruza’s power with her guile. Despite the injury, Muguruza fought back after dropping the first set to win the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. She will play in her third Final this year against Timea Bacsinszky, hoping to gain her second career singles title. On paper, this should be an easy victory for Muguruza since she won their two previous encounters this year; however, the thigh injury may impair Muguruza’s game sufficiently to give the advantage to Bacsinszky. Who will claim the title, Muguruza or Bacsinszky?