LONDON, Great Britain - Former French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza continued her mastery of Svetlana Kuznetsova, dismissing the No.7 seed, 6-3, 6-4, to return to the Wimbledon semifinals.
"It means a lot," Muguruza said of the win. "Especially since that final, and last year losing in second round, to be able to go deep in the tournament still with chances.
"I'm very happy and very pleased also with this match, because obviously Kuznetsova is a very tough opponent. We all know she has been and is a great player. I managed to play a good level during all the match. I earned the victory."
Muguruza made her major breakthrough at the All England Club back in 2015, stunning former finalist Agnieszka Radwanska en route to the championshi match. A year after finishing second to Serena Williams, the Spaniard turned the tables on the American to win her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.
"I think a lot of things have to click to be able to win a major. I think I'm feeling pretty good. I'm being aggressive and not doing a lot of errors that maybe I could do sometimes. So it's a bunch of things. Being physically good, as well, with all the matches.
"If you put everything together and in place, you can maybe have a very good performance."
Seeded No.14 at this year's Championships, Muguruza fell out of the Top 10 for the first time since winning in Paris, but guaranteed a return back up to No.10 after beating Kuznetsova on Tuesday.
The Russian hadn't made it this far at Wimbledon in a decade, when she last reached the quarterfinals, but was playing impressive tennis throughout the first week, winning four matches without losing a set.
Muguruza had been similarly emphatic before rallying from a set down to beat top seed and World No.1 Angelique Kerber, who will cede the top spot to either Karolina Pliskova or Simona Halep later today - depending on how the Romanian fares against British No.1 Johanna Konta.
Against Kuznetsova, Muguruza saved her best tennis for the key points, saving all three break points faced, and converting two of the three she engineered herself to get ahead early in each set.
"I'm not changing a lot of things. I think today was tough with the conditions, to be able to hit super clean, make a lot of winners. I have to maybe work more the point, especially with those kind of players that are very good defensively, they're very solid."
A two-time Grand Slam champion, Kuznetsova nonetheless played clean tennis to keep it close - hitting 21 winners to just 12 unforced errors - but Muguruza had all the answers in the end, particularly on serve, where she hit two aces but 15 unreturnable serves.
"I think in the start I had some options on her serve," Kuznetsova said. "I had 0-30, 15-40, but couldn't turn it around. Then I just lost silly break, quite fast one, the first set. Then it was again everything even. Second break in the second set, it's pretty simple.
"But these small moments, small chances really matters a lot. I think Garbiñe recovered very good today. She defended very good."
Wrapping up the No.1 Court clash in one hour and 15 minutes, Muguruza awaits the winner of the quarterfinal encounter between American CoCo Vandeweghe and Magdalena Rybarikova, who thwarted pre-tournament favorite Karolina Pliskova in the second round.
"I've played against them. That's a good thing, that I know what to expect more or less. Rybarikova, a long time I didn't play against her, but I can see that her game is still there.
"No matter who is going to win, the one that is in semifinals is because she's playing a great tennis. So I'm just going to expect another tough match. So I'm ready."
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