WTA Cincinnati: Qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova Upsets Wimbledon Finalist Garbiñe Muguruza

Qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova upset the 9th seed and Wimbledon finalist Garbiñe Muguruza 6-4, 7-6(0) in the first round of the 2015 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America.

Crucial Break of Serve Gets Shvedova First Set

At the coin toss, Shvedova won the toss and elected to receive. This meant Muguruza had to start the match with her serve. In the opening game, it looked like Shvedova's strategy had worked as she broke the Wimbledon finalist's serve to 15.

From there, there were service holds until the end of the first set. On multiple occasions, Muguruza had opportunities to get the break back or set-up opportunities to level the match but Shvedova denied her younger counterpart time and time again. The break of serve in the opening game of the match proved to be crucial as Shvedova closed out the set with a big body serve, winning it 6-4.

Shvedova Ends Dramatic Set with Tiebreak "Bagel"

As the second set began, history repeated itself. Shvedova broke Muguruza's serve in the opening game of the second set, just like she did in the first. After that, both players proceeded to hold serve for the next few games. A key moment in the second set came when Muguruza held three break points on Shvedova's serve. But much like in the first set, she was unable to convert any of those opportunities. The Kazakh reeled off five points in a row to hold for a 3-1 lead. After another hold from the Spaniard, the rain began to come down hard at the change of ends. After the rain delay, Muguruza came out and played with more controlled aggression to break Shvedova's serve. Unfortunately for both players, the rain came back again. After another brief rain delay, both players were back on-court to finish their match. Who would those two rain delays favour?

As the match continued, both players were not willing to give each other an inch in their service games. This meant this set would have to be decided in a tiebreak. In the first point of the tiebreak, which was arguably the turning point in this match, Shvedova hit a backhand that was originally called out but she challenged and the ball clipped the line. The point was replayed and Yaroslava was the one to strike first, getting the early mini-break. That proved to be the beginning of the end of the match. With some great serves from the Kazakh and a lot of unforced errors from the Spaniard, Shvedova found herself up 6-0 at the change of ends. With yet another backhand unforced error from Muguruza, Yaroslava Shvedova had completed the upset. With a 6-4, 7-6(0) win over the Wimbledon finalist, she is through the second round.

What This Result Means

For Garbiñe Muguruza, this is her third consecutive loss and the the Spaniard has yet to capture the magic that got her to the final of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships on the American hard courts. Ever since she made her maiden Grand Slam final, the expectations and pressure on this 22-year-old to do well in every tournament she plays, has indefinitely risen in the last month. Unfortunately for her, she has not been able to do as well as she might have hoped and this is a bit of a worry going into the final Grand Slam of the year, the U.S. Open. Muguruza will play the Connecticut Open in New Haven next week in hopes to recapture some of the form that catapulted her into the top 10.

For Yaroslava Shvedova, this is her first main draw match win since beating Marina Erakovic in 's-Hertogenbosch earlier this year. A great doubles player, Shvedova has been unable to capture the same success on the singles court. Part of this has to do with Yaroslava being injured quite a few times during her career which made it even harder for her to compete in singles. However, the Kazakh is able to play some superb first-strike tennis when she's on, proving to be dangerous to any opponent. As far as her ranking is concerned, she was number 108 in the world on Saturday when she began her first round qualifying match and after her win today, she has climbed 20 spots in the singles rankings. She now stands at number 88 in the world.

What's Next for Yaroslava Shvedova?

Yaroslava will play the winner of the match between Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Roberta Vinci in the second round. Shvedova has played Pavlyuchenkova four times before, and the series is tied at 2-all. Their last match was on the hard courts of Moscow in 2012, where Shvedova won in straight sets. The Kazakh has played Vinci four times as well, but Vinci leads the series 3-1. Their last meeting was last year in Beijing, where Vinci won in three sets.