It was the battle of the unbeatens in the White Group as Garbiñe Muguruza faced Angelique Kerber. The Spaniard continued her stellar debut at the WTA Finals with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over the German. The win moved the Spaniard to 2-0 while Kerber fell to 1-1
Kerber Fights Hard But Muguruza Takes Opener
The Spaniard would break in the opening game of the match but would have to save a break point of her own in her service game as Kerber earned one after the 30-all point. The lefty was absorbing all the powerful groundstrokes Muguruza was hitting and as she was camping at the net, Kerber picked out a target with her backhand and passed the Spaniard cross-court to earn the break point. She was unable to break though.
The German would break for two-all, and the phenomenal play was continued by both women as displayed in the fifth game. On 40-15 with Kerber serving, Muguruza hit two fantastic forehands, the first cross-court then followed by one down the line. She attacked the net and took Kerber’s backhand and hit a drop volley winner on it. At that point, she was showing how solid she was when getting forward winning eight of ten points at the net at that time.
The Spaniard would break in the ninth game to move up 5-4 as both women were once again trading shots. Kerber hit a drop shot with too much air which allowed Muguruza to hit a simple winner down the line for the lead. She would save a break point which would have brought it to five-all and held for the set as Kerber hit a backhand long.
The German’s Defense Cannot Stop The Unbreakable Spanish Wall
The plot was nearly lost for the German in her opening service as she was forced to save four break points before holding for just a 1-0 lead. Kerber was made to work hard in each and every point as both women showed off fantastic touch and hands at the net on one of the deuce points with both women playing drop shots and hitting fantastic volleys. Muguruza would break for 3-2, only for Kerber to strike right back for 4-all later on. Neither woman was safe on their serve, being forced into break points a few times in each of their service games.
At 4-all, 30-all, it was the point of the match between the two women. Muguruza took a backhand return and blasted it right at Kerber which knocked her to the ground. The Spaniard went cross-court which Kerber somehow got to after being on the ground just seconds before. Muguruza hit a volley, which sat up just enough for Kerber to get to and hit a backhand winner past her opponent. The crowd was well on their feet after that thrilling point.
The Spaniard set up break point as the two continued to trade blows on the baseline, but Muguruza finished it off with a forehand down the line. She would break after the lefty’s backhand pass went well wide. Muguruza led 5-4 after that and did not look back. A fantastic serve up the tee, followed by a swinging backhand volley, and another drop volley winner would give the Spaniard the match 6-4, 6-4.
Muguruza has all but clinched a spot into the final four, with her being knocked out by only one possibility. Kerber will be safe in a couple of situations.
Kerber tops the group if:
Petra Kvitova wins in straights, she wins in straights, and her win-loss percentage in games puts her in first.
Kerber advances if:
Kvitova wins in straights, she wins in straights, and her win-loss percentage in games puts her in second OR
she wins in straights and Kvitova wins in three OR
she wins in three and Kvitova wins in three OR
she wins her match and Muguruza wins her, regardless of set results
Muguruza tops the group if:
Kerber wins in straights, Kvitova wins in straights, and her win-loss percentage in games puts her atop the group OR
Kerber wins in straights and Kvitova wins in three OR
she wins and Kerber wins, regardless of how many sets OR
Kerber wins in three and Kvitova wins in three OR
Lucie Safarova wins in straights and she wins, regardless of how many sets
Muguruza advances if:
Kerber wins in straights, Kvitova wins in straights, and her win-loss percentage in games puts her second in the group OR
Kerber wins in three and Kvitova wins in straights OR
Safarova wins and Kvitova wins, regardless of how many sets