Garbine Muguruza was flawless in dismantling Simona Halep 6-1, 6-0 in the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. The Wimbledon champion also denied the Romanian the world number one ranking in the process, the third time Halep has been one match away from achieving the top spot, but falling short.
Muguruza off the mark early
In a match that was expected to be decided from the back of the court, it was Muguruza's more potent groundstrokes who were having an impact. At 30-40 in the opening game of the match, Halep missed a forehand into the net, whacking a ball in frustration, yet little did she know it would only be the beginning.
Eventually sprinting out to a 4-1 lead, Muguruza saw her frustrated opponent spray more errors and at double break point, the Romanian double-faulted, handing the Spaniard another break and a comfortable hold saw her claim the set in just 23 minutes.
Garbine's championship won in style
It would get no better for Halep as the second set began and after a slew of more errors, she again missed a forehand to give an already flying Muguruza more of a lead. For the first time, the world number two showed signs of life on her flawless opponent's serve, getting to deuce, but no further as Muguruza held.
After yet more errors, Halep handed Muguruza a 3-0, double break lead. Finally creating her first break point chance, her forehand once again let her down and following a few deuces, held another break point.
This time, it was a Muguruza winner, a volley following in a blistering forehand that would erase the chance. After another hold, she inflicted more misery on the Romanian with a third break and coasted to the title with a love hold.
Post-match reaction from both players
Following the match, Muguruza spoke about her level getting better as the match went along: I was looking to play my game, to be aggressive since the first moment, and then after, I was improving a little bit, a little bit more until the second set, also, played better.”
" I) felt very comfortable there, playing against Simona, and also my level was very high. So I felt like especially in the second set I could raise it a little bit more and close the match.”
She also was expecting a tough match, but surprisingly, found little resistance from her opponent: “Since the first ball, honestly, I knew there was going to be a lot of long rallies, and she's a very solid player and, you know, very tough, as well. I was ready for it".
Halep praises winner
For her part, Halep paid homage to Muguruza, stating simply the Wimbledon champion was too good: “She played really well, first of all, and she was hitting very strong, and after a few games I got down with the confidence. I tried to hit the ball and couldn't much. Then I tried to go back a little bit and was not good. So today I don't really know what I had to do, and I think she was just too good today.”