MELBOURNE, Australia - Former World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza served noticed with another statement win at the Australian Open on Monday.
The two-time Grand Slam champion scored her second consecutive victory over a Top 10 player this fortnight with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over No.9 seed Kiki Bertens to book a spot in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in nearly two years.
"I feel like she's a very solid player, has a big serve. She's physically very strong. I was expecting that it's going to be a tough match because every time we played, it has been like this. I was ready for it," Muguruza said after the match. "I played my game, aggressive game. Right away, I felt it was working.
"I remember that she beat me, that's for sure. I think I'm a different player now. Completely different. We both like the baseline. I found a way to disturb her game."
She's got that championship look in her eye....@GarbiMuguruza returns to the #AusOpen quarterfinals for the first time since 2017 with an impressive 6-3 6-3 win over No. 9 seed Bertens.#AO2020 pic.twitter.com/Ysz0r4Barx— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2020
By following up her third round victory over World No.5 Elina Svitolina with another two-set victory over the World No.10, Muguruza scores consecutive completed victories against the WTA's elite for the first time since winning the Wester & Southern Open in Cincinnati three years ago.
The 26-year-old last reached the quarterfinals at a major at the 2018 French Open, where she was beaten in the semifinals by eventual champion Simona Halep, and was a quarterfinalist in Melbourne in 2017.
"It feels very good. It's hard to get here. I feel like I've been here I think three years ago. It is very good to be back here. Is one of the Grand Slams that one day I would like to win. It's exciting," Muguruza said.
"I feel good in this tournament. I'm super concentrated on every single match, especially because I started the tournament so-so. I feel like my body's getting healthier.
"It's a Grand Slam, we are all very concentrated here. For me, it's one of the tournaments that motivates me the most."
Needing just 68 minutes to seal victory inside Rod Laver Arena, Muguruza hit 19 winners and six aces, breaking serve five times, to advance to a quarterfinal meeting with either Angelique Kerber or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
"Both matches, whoever wins, is going to be tough. Every time we play together, it's always a tough match," she said.
"For me, I'm just going to think about who is going to be my opponent and bring my game into the court. Afterwards, there's not much to say about it."