Wimbledon first round preview: Garbiñe Muguruza vs Camila Giorgi

Garbiñe Muguruza returns to the lawns of the most prestigious grass court tournament in the world, Wimbledon, where she was a beaten finalist last year to Serena Williams, contesting in her first Grand Slam final appearance.

Muguruza overcame that disappointment by making history as becoming the first Spanish woman to win a Premier Mandatory event at the China Open, defeating Swiss star Timea Bacsinszky in the final, which was the Spaniard's biggest title of her career at the time.

Camila Giorgi, currently ranked at 67 in the world, is having a torrid 2016 campaign, even though she has a positive win-loss record of 14-13, the results have been underwhelming and she has made one final losing to Dominika Cibulkova at the Katowice Open, a third consecutive runner-up finish at the Polish event.

The Spaniard's possible path to the final

A dejected Muguruza following her Wimbledon final defeat to Serena Williams (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Source : Getty Images)
A dejected Muguruza following her Wimbledon final defeat to Serena Williams (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Source : Getty Images)

Muguruza is seeded second and placed in the bottom half of the draw. Her route to the final is tricky as she opens up against Giorgi followed by a possible second round meeting with Jana Cepelova, and former semifinalist Lucie Safarova could await in the third round.

It's not easy by any stretch of the imagination, as if the French Open champion advances to the fourth round, she will most likely face 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki or 14th seed Sam Stosur, a player Muguruza thrashed in the semifinals of Roland Garros.

A quarterfinal meeting with five-time champion Venus Williams is the likely outcome, and one of Madison Keys, Simona Halep, Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, Aegon Open champion Karolina Pliskova or Ana Ivanovic should be the Spaniard's semifinal opponent should she progress that far in the draw. In the final, Muguruza could have a showdown with Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska or two-time champion Petra Kvitova.

Giorgi's 2016 notable results

Giorgi serving at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham against Heather Watson (Photo by Steve Bardens / Source : Getty Images)
Giorgi serving at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham against Heather Watson (Photo by Steve Bardens / Source : Getty Images)

The fiery Italian is 24-years old and her campaign began in Australia losing to Kerber in the first round at the Brisbane International, when she took the first set but went down in three. A quarterfinal finish in Hobart to Eugenie Bouchard was to follow, and her season Down Under concluded with a tough first round draw at the Australian Open, losing to the defending champion Serena Williams in two tight sets.

At the back-to-back Premier Mandatory events at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Miami Open, Giorgi suffered early losses to Ivanovic in the second round at Indian Wells losing in a final set tiebreak, and a loss at the Miami Open to American Madison Brengle.

Giorgi is currently on a three-match losing streak as her clay court season concluded losing in the second round of Roland Garros to eventual semifinalist Kiki Bertens.

The Italian comes into Wimbledon without a win on the grass as she lost to Britain's Heather Watson in Birmingham and Timea Babos in Eastbourne.

Head-to-head

Muguruza and Giorgi have played each other three times on the WTA tour and it is the Italian who leads their head-to-head 2-1.

They have played each other twice on clay and once on a hard court, including a meeting at a Grand Slam before.

Giorgi won their first two meetings as she defeated Muguruza in the final round of qualifying at the Spaniard's home event at the Mutua Madrid Open in 2013, followed by a win in the quarterfinals in New Haven on hard courts in 2014.

Muguruza gained her first victory over Giorgi in the second round of the French Open last year, taking it in straight sets.

Having Sam Sumyk, the former coach of Victoria Azarenka as her full-time coach, has made the Spaniard a better player, and Muguruza is hungry for success and to become the world number one.

Final thoughts

The Spaniard is now a different player to the one that suffered those two defeats to Giorgi. Muguruza is one of five of the top seeds vying for the world number one ranking alongside current world number one Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep.

Giorgi's serve is weak as she is suspect to serving plenty of double faults, and on the grass, Muguruza will attack her second serves with blistering forehands. Muguruza herself can serve plenty of double faults, but her first serve has improved massively and on the grass, her ace count should be high.

The second seed had a slow start at the French Open, dropping only one set in the process en route to winning the title, which was in the opening round match to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Historically, first time slam winners struggle at their next Grand Slam tournament by not reaching the quarterfinals, the last eight first-time Grand Slams have failed to do so with Kerber being the most recent example, as she was toppled in the first round of the French Open by Bertens.

The Spaniard is definitely one of the players to beat, and it would be a major shock if Muguruza was to lose in the first round of Wimbledon.

This match is scheduled second on Centre Court and it should take place around 3pm local time.

Prediction: Muguruza to win in straight sets.

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