Timea Bacsinszky scored the first big upset of the Mutua Madrid Open, rolling past hometown favorite and reigning French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza in straight sets.
WTA Staff

MADRID, Spain - Timea Bacsinszky earned her first win over No.5 seed and 2016 French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza, 6-1, 6-3, to reach the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open.

“It’s the first time I’ve beaten her, and so I’m really happy,” she told WTA Insider after the match. “Being 0-4 head-to-head against somebody is tough, even if most of our matches were tight, she was making the right decisions at crucial moments.

“I have a game that can bother her - she also has a game to bother me! - so it’s tricky when we play one another. Today I tried to play different, somehow; I used different options, with a Plan A, Plan B, and maybe two more, carefully choosing between them because I know it’s tough when she gets her rhythm.”

A former semifinalist at Roland Garros, Bacsinszky previously struggled to counter Muguruza's high-octane game, winning just one set from the Spaniard in their four previous meetings.

Today proved an emphatic reversal for the former World No.2, who began the season balancing consistent results with untimely injuries and illnesses ending runs at the Brisbane International and Miami Open.

“It means more to beat someone I’d lost four straight matches against than the fact that she’s No.6 in the world, Grand Slam champion,” Bacsinszky explained. “It was a long time since I even won a set against her, so I was trying to push the limits after the first set, get those two green ticks!

“She’s a player who can make great comebacks, and so I was waiting for her to get that extra kick. I just tried to stay calm when that happened, telling myself the match would be long. I used the plans I started the match with and went for my shots.

“It’s not so bad feeling like an outsider, drowning in the rankings!” the former World No.9 joked.

Bacsinszky rallied from break deficits and won six straight games in both sets to earn the upset after an hour and six minutes on court.

“She started to get her rhythm at the start of the second set, but I tried to use the fact that she’s playing in front of her home crowd, how I’m kind of an outsider right now, ranked No.27. Getting a win like this, I’m happy to take it.”

In all, the Swiss star struck 17 winners to 11 unforced errors, while Muguruza hit 12 winners to 20 unforced errors.

“It was a match with a lot of ups and downs,” Muguruza said in her post-match press conference. “I think she played pretty intelligent, pretty smart.

“Well, I don't think it was my day. Honestly, I didn't play very good. I was missing a lot some shots I should maybe not miss against Timea.I think she's a very good player, and she used that moments, especially the important ones, to advance in the game.”

Up next for Bacsinszky is another French Open semifinalist, Kiki Bertens, who knocked out Ekaterina Makarova on Saturday.

“I’ve had some good wins this year, even if I haven’t been at my best this season,” Bacsinszky said. “Now I’m looking for consistency. Losing to Bellis last week with match point, I knew I was on the right track. It was tough, but I was more forgiving with myself in practice, and tried to remember that it’s just a game.

“They say you can’t build Rome in a day, and it’s the same with Lausanne, and the same with Timea!” she laughed, referring to her home city.