French Open: Garbiñe Muguruza storms past an inspired Fiona Ferro

French Open: Garbiñe Muguruza storms past an inspired Fiona Ferro

It was an excellent performance by Garbiñe Muguruza in her second-round match at the French Open as local wildcard Fiona Ferro put up an outstanding and fearless performance to provide the third seed some trouble.

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Don Han

Garbiñe Muguruza continued her pursuit towards the number one ranking and her second Major trophy in Paris as the current world number three fended off an inspired showing by local wildcard Fiona Ferro in the second round of the 2018 French Open, triumphing with a straightforward 6-4, 6-3 scoreline even though her path to victory wasn’t as straightforward.

Impressively enough, Muguruza rode on her momentum from her excellent first-round win over Svetlana Kuznetsova and blasted 26 winners to just 23 unforced errors today. Furthermore, the Spaniard claimed 70 percent of her first serve points while conceding just 11 points behind her solid second serves. It was not a poor match played by Ferro either, as she threw in 18 unforced errors and hit just 13 winners but managed to inflict trouble on Muguruza’s groundstrokes, forcing her to hit more errors than usual.

Garbine Muguruza reaches out for a forehand | Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe
Garbine Muguruza reaches out for a forehand | Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe

Muguruza edges the tight opening set

It was a confidence-boosting start for the French wildcard as the 21-year-old youngster ranked 257th in the world stepped up to the occasion, challenging Muguruza’s authority at the baseline after firing some impressive forehand winners to claim the comfortable service hold in the opening game. Nonetheless, the Spaniard world number three produced the perfect reply, reasserting her baseline dominance by getting on the board in a similar fashion.

This was soon shaping up to be an excellent and high-quality contest as both players started to display their highest level of tennis. Ferro, a huge underdog in this clash, was playing well above her level and earned a break point in the fourth game but Muguruza impressively fired winner after winner to remain on serve.

Garbine Muguruza put in an outstanding performance today | Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe
Garbine Muguruza put in an outstanding performance today | Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe

Three consecutive breaks followed as Muguruza’s inconsistencies often showed up with her unforced errors being too overwhelming, but credit has to be given to Ferro whose fearless forehands helped her remain in contention. The Frenchwoman showed her tough mental strength after surviving a tough game while serving to stay in the match, but ultimately Muguruza was just too good as the world number three took the first set 6-4 after a hard-fought 44 minutes of play.

Muguruza seals the excellent victory

A quick exchange of breaks started the second set as both players, expectedly, experienced an understandable dip in their levels after the tightly-contested opening set. Many thought that it would be one-way traffic for the more experienced former champion as they expected Ferro to gradually fade away. However, the wildcard was out on Court Suzanne Lenglen to prove the doubters wrong — she came out of nowhere and broke back immediately after Muguruza gained the momentum.

It was a fearless display by Fiona Ferro | Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe
It was a fearless display by Fiona Ferro | Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe

A series of comfortable service holds followed until Ferro had to serve at 3-3. It was an inspired performance from the local favorite but her unforced errors overwhelmed her during the critical moments which resulted in Muguruza being able to break with some powerful play in the seventh game. The Spaniard was attempting to dictate play throughout the rallies though she met with some tough resistance from her opponent at times.

This time, she was able to consolidate the break as the Spaniard continued to apply the pressure at the baseline, and Ferro succumbed to the power of the world number three as Muguruza edged closer than ever towards the win. Serving to stay in the match, it was a disappointing way to conclude the thrilling encounter as Ferro hit just her 18th unforced error of the match to gift Muguruza the win after 86 minutes of play.

Garbine Muguruza will now face Samantha Stosur in the third round, a repeat of their semifinal clash back in 2016 | Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe
Garbine Muguruza will now face Samantha Stosur in the third round, a repeat of their semifinal clash back in 2016 | Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe
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