MADRID, Spain - Garbiñe Muguruza came from a set and a break down to book her place in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open with a 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(2) opening day victory over Sílvia Soler-Espinosa.
Unlike many of her clay-loving compatriots, Muguruza feels most at home on hardcourts and, despite her tender years, has already enjoyed plenty of success on the surface. The Spaniard first caught the eye two years ago when she reached the fourth round in Miami on her WTA main draw debut, and since then has continued to make good on this early promise, picking up her first title this January (in Hobart) before reaching the last 16 at the Australian Open.
The Turning Point
Muguruza began her clay court campaign last week, reaching the semifinals in Marrakech where she lost to María-Teresa Torró-Flor in a match lasting just 55 minutes. However, it was clear from the opening set against Soler-Espinosa that there would be no repeat in Madrid.
Having lost the opener on a tie-break, Muguruza then found herself 3-0 down in the second before reeling off six straight games to level the match up. Both players had their chances in the decider, but it was the youngster's nerve that held firm, fending off multiple break points at 4-4 and 5-5 before prevailing on the tie-break.
"I am very happy with the win as it was a difficult match, against a Spanish player, in my home country and on central court," Muguruza said. "I was a little nervous, but I am happy with the win and with how I turned it around. It was an important victory and hopefully I can put the pressure behind me now."