China Open, Beijing
Women’s Final: [CR5] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) vs. [CR17] Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
It has been a couple of weeks of niggling injuries for Muguruza. Last tournament, she retired in the Final, losing to Venus Williams in Wuhan. She came into this tournament, still not fully recovered. Added to the ankle issue, she now had problems with her right thigh. It was going to be a difficult match for Muguruza, physically as well as mentally. It showed early as she struggled to find her rhythm and Bacsinszky took a 5-2 lead in the first set; yet, Muguruza has impressed me with her own brand of will power and she dug in. She broke back to even the set and then broke again to win the first set. The battle was not over as Bacsinszky was not ready to concede defeat so easily.
What went through Bacsinszky’s head as she watched the first set slipping out of her grasp? She had lost their two previous encounters, so she expected a battle; however, I don’t think she was prepared to squander such a big lead. Nevertheless, Bacsinszky put the disappointment of losing the first set behind her and refocused in the second set. Again she had a lead, albeit a much slimmer one. Unfortunately for her, it was not enough to deter Muguruza. Once again she came back from behind to squash any hopes Bacsinszky had of defeating her and winning the title. The 7-5, 6-4 defeat of Bacsinszky gave Muguruza her second singles title. It was a very fruitful tournament for both players, as they will see an improvement in their ranking on Monday. Despite the loss, Bacsinszky will be amongst the elite for the first time in her career, a member of the top ten.