Muguruza battled past Duan

Muguruza battled past Duan

Qatar Total Open 2018, Doha

[4] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) vs.  [99] Ying-Ying Duan (CHN)

After winning her second major title at Wimbledon last year, Muguruza backed up that performance with a couple of semifinal showings and another title. However, the physical toll was obvious as she struggled with a left thigh injury the remainder of the season. It showed in her performance at the WTA Finals where she only won one match. 2018 has started very slowly for the Spaniard; she lost early in her three previous tournaments to players ranked outside the top twenty.

Muguruza has struggled following big victories; however, this time her struggle is more physical than emotional. She is hoping to jump-start her season at this event, where she can gain valuable ranking points if she goes deep in the draw.

The good news for the Spaniard is that she had no apparent injury and her movement did not seem hampered in any way. She was also aided by the knowledge that she had won their only previous encounter last year. Today was more of a battle than Muguruza anticipated though as Duan competed to the very end and made her earn the victory. Perhaps if she had not exerted herself so much in her previous match she could have pushed Muguruza to a deciding set.

Muguruza broke early in the second set and seemed to have taken control when she secured a second break; however, Duan was not ready to relinquish the set just yet. No matter how accomplished a player they are, every player at some point in their career feels the negative effect of pressure and Muguruza was no exception. Serving for the match at 5-2 up, the Spaniard succumbed to a bout of nerves and was broken; however, she regrouped on her second attempt and won 6-3, 6-4 on her eighth match point..

SOURCE OF IMAGES: serveandrally originals

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