World number one Garbiñe Muguruza continues playing some of her best tennis at the Toray Pan Pacific Open, defeating the dangerous Caroline Garcia in straight sets without facing many problems and therefore sealing her place in the semifinals.
Entering the quarterfinals with a straightforward victory over Olympics gold medalist Monica Puig, whom she lost 1-6, 1-6 to in Rio last year, the world number one is in great form and was the huge favorite in this encounter.
Up against a fellow hard-hitter and fellow top-20 player Caroline Garcia, this is their first ever career meeting with the Frenchwoman looking to cause some troubles for the top-ranked player. Nonetheless, Muguruza solidified her number one ranking with an impressive performance, reaching the semifinals where she will face Caroline Wozniacki, who benefitted from an unfortunate retirement of Dominika Cibulkova in their quarterfinal encounter.
Muguruza strolls to claim the opening set
Garcia started the match by clinching a comfortable service hold as she served confidently in the opening game, coming up with some of her mainstream powerful first serves to get the best possible start. Muguruza slowly found herself getting into the match, playing better as the match progressed. The first break of serve arrived upon us in the early stages, something we did not expect considering both players are solid servers.
Muguruza was certainly the more comfortable on the court, playing well with her controlled aggression and Garcia constantly missed the lines as she was committing a handful of unforced errors. From the third game onwards, the Spaniard won 20 out of the next 27 possible points as she was simply firing on all cylinders, storming to clinch the first set 6-2 after just 30 minutes of play.
Garcia puts up tough fight but Muguruza was just too strong
Muguruza carried over her momentum into the second set, breaking serve in the opening game as she looked to close out the win in a hurry. The Frenchwoman continued to misfire, with the additional spin on her shots causing them to miss the lines more frequently than ever. The world number one was also defending exceptionally well, affirming her position as the top-ranked player in the world. Muguruza consolidated the break despite Garcia putting up a tougher fight in the second set and earned a break point in the third game with the chance to extend her lead.
However, Garcia finally managed to find her groove and sealed the narrow service hold, lessening the deficit to just one game. After several exchanges of service holds, the underdog came out of nowhere to break straight back in the sixth game, benefitting from a Muguruza double-fault on break point. Nonetheless, the world number one restored order by prevailing in a marathon game which saw her break straight back and regain the lead. With no more breaks of serve from then onwards, Muguruza eventually served out the match after an hour and 23 minutes of play.