No.9 seed Garbiñe Muguruza earned a comprehensive win over a fellow major champion in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships round of 16, easing past No.8 seed Iga Swiatek, 6-0, 6-4.
Muguruza was in command of the encounter from the start, winning in 1 hour, 9 minutes as she sealed a spot in the Dubai quarterfinals for the fourth time in her seven successive appearances.
"From the beginning, I was there to control the score, and was taking the advantage," Muguruza said in her post-match press conference. "I think she missed, in the first set, a couple of shots here and there that gave me the extra advantage."
Muguruza, who has already reached two singles finals this season, improved her 2021 win-loss record to 15-4. The reigning Roland Garros champion Swiatek, meanwhile, saw her six-match winning streak, which included a run to the Adelaide title, come to an end.
A difficult first set for Swiatek was portended early as she dropped her first two service games with double faults on break points. Muguruza kept clean in the opener, with five winners to just four unforced errors, but Swiatek was never able to get her delivery clicking in the frame, making just 29 percent of her first serves into play.
"I think I took my opportunities, and I was efficient when I had to break her serve, or stay with my serve," Muguruza said. "Just happy with the way I started. I was very focused, looking forward to the match as well. Sometimes you start a little bit off, but today I felt good on the court."
Deep returns and powerful forehands pulled Muguruza to an early 3-1 lead in the second set before Swiatek at last garnered her first service break of the day, rediscovering her powerful groundstrokes to level the set at 3-3.
However, Muguruza returned to her playbook and worked her points perfectly, combining heavy returns with punishing forehands to earn another break for 5-4 and serve for the match. The forehand wing steered Muguruza through the final game, and she converted her first match point with her third ace of the day.
"It felt like every point was very fast," Muguruza said. "We didn’t have that many long rallies today, so it felt like in a blink you could go 3-0 up or 3-0 down. I feel like the way we play on the surface, it’s not really the match to have 20-ball rallies."
Muguruza will now face another top player in the quarterfinals: No.3 seed Aryna Sabalenka. The pair faced off last week in Doha, where Muguruza prevailed.
Gauff advances to face Teichmann again: Coco Gauff posted her best showing at a WTA 1000 event by booking her spot in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over qualifier Tereza Martincova.
Gauff, who turns 17 years old on Saturday (the day of the Dubai final), won 77 percent of her first-service points and broke Martincova four times to execute a straightforward 66-minute victory.
The only minor stumble for Gauff came when she dropped serve in her first service game of the second set, but the American teenager rebounded by reeling off six straight games in a row to close out the win.
Gauff will meet Jil Teichmann in the quarterfinals after Teichmann defeated Ons Jabeur 6-3, 6-3 in the Wednesday nightcap.
Teichmann still has yet to drop a set in the event as she picked up an 84-minute win over Jabeur. The player from Switzerland was steely on serve during the encounter, fending off all six of the break points she faced.
Jabeur, hoping to reach the Dubai quarterfinals for the first time in her fourth main-draw appearance, fired eight more winners than Teichmann but was undone by 38 unforced errors, 20 more miscues than her opponent.
Astonishingly, this will be the third time this season Teichmann and Gauff face off. Teichmann lost her first two matches of the season to Gauff, as the American teen knocked out the Swiss player in the first round at both the Gippsland Trophy and the Australian Open.
Since then, Teichmann has rebounded with nine wins in her next 11 matches, reaching the quarterfinals or better in her past three events.