HONG KONG - No.4 seed Garbine Muguruza made the perfect tournament debut at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, defeating Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-3, 6-1 to move into the second round.
Interestingly, it’s been well over three years since Muguruza last clashed against a fellow Spanish player - since Madrid 2015, where she thrashed Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, 6-1, 6-1 in the opening round.
Read more: WTA Player Awards 2018: Nominations
She faced a bit more resistance from today’s opponent this time around - Sorribes Tormo almost mounting turnaround in the first set - but the result was the same, and Muguruza needed an hour and 24 minutes to claim a spot in the second round at Hong Kong.
“I’m happy to be here for the first time here - I’ve been training a lot, I came early to Hong Kong,” Muguruza said in an interview afterwards.
“It’s not easy to play a Spanish player, because I know her. But I’m happy that I’m in the second round and looking forward to my next opponent.”
— WTA (@WTA) October 9, 2018
Muguruza, a two-time Grand Slam champion, came into Hong Kong looking to end her season on a high note: already out of contention on the Porsche Race to Singapore, Muguruza certainly hopes to add another title to her lone Monterrey trophy before 2018 is done.
She made the perfect start in Hong Kong, breaking Sorribes Tormo twice in back-to-back fashion, playing aggressively and covering the court to build up a 4-0 lead. Sorribes Tormo finally found her footing late in the set, and grabbed a break back to put Muguruza under pressure.
Going to the short volley to get Muguruza out of position, Sorribes Tormo had points at 4-2 that would have earned her the second break back and left them back on serve - but the two-time major champion didn’t allow her to capitalize. Muguruza regained control with her powerful groundstrokes, and managed to close out the set two games later at 6-3.
Muguruza was likely feeling a bit of deja vu as the second set unfolded, quickly firing ahead to a 4-0 only to see Sorribes Tormo halt her momentum with a handful of break chances. But the No.4 seed didn’t falter this time, fighting her off to serve it out.
“I think Sara has a lot of variety in her game, she plays a lot of slice, high balls, flat balls,” Muguruza assessed. “So coming to the net is part of my game, but she managed to put me in trouble and give me difficult balls. I think there were very competitive points.”
Safely into the second round, Muguruza will take on Romania’s Ana Bogdan, who survived an epic encounter to move past lucky loser Caroline Dolehide. Trailing 5-1 in the third set, Bogdan saved three match points and completed an incredible comeback to seal the 6-7(2), 6-3, 7-5 victory in two hours and 30 minutes.