Muguruza sails into Pan Pacific Open semis

Source:AFP Published: 2017/9/23 0:38:39

Newly crowned world No.1 Garbine Muguruza trounced France's Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-4 on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Pan Pacific Open.

Earlier, former No.1 Angelique Kerber won a war of attrition with second seed Karolina Pliskova to book her place in the last four.

Spaniard Muguruza, playing her first tournament since reaching the top of the women's world rankings, never looked threatened in a one-sided quarterfinal.

The Wimbledon champion stormed to a 5-1 lead before ripping a half-court forehand into the corner to secure the first set.

Muguruza pounced on a short second serve with a murderous backhand to break early in the second and the top seed dealt calmly with fleeting resistance from Garcia.

The ninth seed gave herself a lifeline to level the set at 3-3 but was quickly put in her place when Muguruza beat her with a ferocious backhand pass to restore normal service.

A crunching serve down the middle put Garcia out of her misery after 81 minutes as Muguruza advanced to face title holder Caroline Wozniacki.

"I felt my game was there and my intensity," Muguruza told reporters.

"I guess I'm always the favorite now," added the Spaniard, referring to the No.1 ranking. "I'm dealing with a new situation and I don't think it's right to put pressure on myself."

Kerber, seeded seventh and a former Tokyo finalist, came through 7-6, 7-5 as she repelled some brutal hitting from her Czech opponent in a contest of real quality.

Pliskova, who herself briefly held the women's top ranking over the summer, produced moments of brilliance at the net but ultimately crumbled under relentless pressure.

The 29-year-old Kerber, who has slipped back to 14th in the world since winning last year's Australian and US Open titles, faces Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last four.

The Russian advanced by overcoming another Czech, Barbora Strycova, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.



Posted in: TENNIS

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