Garbine Muguruza is back to her brilliant best. Picture: Michael Klein
Garbine Muguruza is back to her brilliant best. Picture: Michael Klein

Muguru-thless: Spaniard continues resurgence

SPAIN'S Garbine Muguruza has booked a semi-final showdown against Simona Halep after a straight sets victory over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Rod Laver Arena today.

The two-time Grand Slam champion booked her first appearance in a semis at the Australian Open after her 7-5 6-3 win against the No.30 seed.

 

Unseeded at this year's Australian Open, Muguruza must now prepare for a semi-final clash against No.4 seed Halep after the Romanian's earlier 6-1 6-1 quarter-final whitewash over Anett Kontaveit.

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Muguruza's best result at the Australian Open previously was a quarter-final appearance in 2017.

The 26-year-old was unaware of her semi-final opponent immediately after her match, but said she was ready for the challenge against Halep.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova strong formline could not hold up to Muguruza. Picture: Michael Klein
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova strong formline could not hold up to Muguruza. Picture: Michael Klein

"I'm happy to play tomorrow, don't wait another day," Muguruza said.

"I'm excited to play here in my first semi-finals.

"I'm going to study a little bit my opponent, I've known her for quite a long time, but it's going to be a tough match."

After being pushed by the hard-hitting Russian in the first set, Muguruza took just 37 minutes to wrap up the second set.

A shake for the winner: Pavlyuchenkova congratulates Muguruza after the match. Picture: AP
A shake for the winner: Pavlyuchenkova congratulates Muguruza after the match. Picture: AP

She admitted had needed to dig deep in the first set to fend off the Russian.

"I adapt to the circumstances. Sometimes you don't feel great, but you have to got to fight and stay there," Muguruza said.

"The first set was very hard, I think it lasted like an hour, so it was a very important set and I'm happy I got it."

Muguruza was all smiles after her victory. Picture: AP
Muguruza was all smiles after her victory. Picture: AP

Muguruza said she was ready for her next battle against Halep.

"I think that no matter when you play top five, it's always deep in a tournament," Muguruza said.

"It's a semi-final, so of course I'm expecting a big player. (I'm) excited to play another battle against her.

"I think she's a very solid player. She plays very consistency through all these years."

 

HALEP DRAWS ON 2018 AUS OPEN FINAL LOSS

Simona Halep says she is ready to turn up the heat in her semi-final showdown against Spain's Garbine Muguruza as the mercury at the Australian Open prepares to soar.

Fuelled by her favoured Open breakfast of ham and cheese, the dual Grand Slam champion was in ominous form on Wednesday as she took just 53 minutes to dispatch No.28 seed Anett Kontaveit in their quarter-final on Rod Laver Arena 6-1 6-1.

Simona Halep shows the ecstasy of victory after her easy win over Anett Kontaveit. Picture: AP
Simona Halep shows the ecstasy of victory after her easy win over Anett Kontaveit. Picture: AP

Muguruza secured her match-up with Halep - and her first semi-final appearance at the Australian Open - after a straight sets win over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 7-5 6-3.

The pair will back up in their semi-final on Thursday in what's expected to be the hottest day of the Open so far with the temperature expected to hit 37 degrees at Melbourne Park.

But Halep said the heat would not bother her as the No.4 seed continues her quest for a first Australian Open crown.

"I like the heat. I like to play in warm conditions," Halep said.

"We will see (Thursday) how it's going to be. But I feel ready to face this weather.

"Actually we missed a little bit the hot weather here in Australia. So we will see (Thursday). I think it's a good thing for me. "

Halep recorded a 6-1 6-4 win over Muguruza in their last meeting in the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2018. But the Spaniard holds a 3-2 head-to-head advantage.

 

Kontaveit and Halep meet in the middle of the court after their quarterfinal clash. Picture: AP
Kontaveit and Halep meet in the middle of the court after their quarterfinal clash. Picture: AP

 

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An Australian Open runner-up in 2018, Halep said she felt more confident in her game now.

"I feel with more energy going to the semi-finals," the Romanian said.

"I feel more confident. I feel my game. (Semi-final) is going to be a tough one, I know that.

"I expect a very difficult match. But it's semi-finals, so it should be like that. I'm all in. I'm confident."

Rating her dominant quarter-final performance, Halep was as happy as she could be in her game.

"Perfection doesn't exist, but I'm very happy with the way I played," she said.

"I felt great on court. I was moving great. I felt the ball, like, really, really good. It was a great match."

 

 

 

 

 

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