MONTERREY, Mexico -- No.1 seed Garbiñe Muguruza continued her superb run through the Abierto GNP Seguros, collecting her fourth consecutive straight-set win with a 6-0, 7-5 semifinal victory over Romanian No.7 seed Ana Bogdan on Saturday afternoon.
In the first meeting between the two players, the top seed and reigning Wimbledon champion put on an excellent display, overcoming the 90th-ranked Romanian in 81 minutes. The World No.3 had 15 winners to only eight unforced errors in the match. Bogdan put on a strong showing as well, going toe-to-toe with Muguruza in the second set and posting 14 winners in the tilt.
"In the first set I played very well, I think she made some unforced errors," Muguruza told the media, after the match. "Then the player that I expected showed up, she was very aggressive, she made great shots. In the end, I’m happy I knew how to manage that situation and win in two sets."
Muguruza will now square off against No.4 seed Timea Babos of Hungary in the championship match on Sunday. Babos, the 2012 Abierto GNP Seguros champion, moved into the final with a come-from behind 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 semifinal victory over Sachia Vickery of the United States earlier on Saturday.
"We have played many times," said Muguruza. "We were 12 years old the first time, so we know each other very well. I haven’t played her since a few years ago, but I see her, I’ve trained with her, I know how she plays, so I hope it will be a good [match] tomorrow."
"I’m happy to have a great opponent and tomorrow is the last match, so it’s all or nothing," Muguruza continued.
After breaking Bogdan in her opening service game, Muguruza had to survive two break points to make sure the Romanian did not immediately get back on serve. The Spaniard pulled her delivery together, fending them off, then holding for a 3-0 lead with an ace.
A frazzled Bogdan kicked off her next service game with two straight double faults, and was unable to recover from there, pushing a forehand unforced error long to cede another service game and hand the top seed a 4-0 lead.
The Romanian had chances to avert the bagel while serving at 0-5, dodging two early set points before holding two game points. But powerful groundstrokes by Muguruza kept her in the game, and a crosscourt forehand screamer gave the Spaniard a third set point, which she converted. The top seed had seven winners and only four unforced errors in the opening frame.
Bogdan dug her heels in and regrouped to put on a strong showing in the second set. The Romanian, who had 12 aces in her quarterfinal victory over Danielle Collins, started to exhibit the power game which had brought her into her second WTA semifinal in the last 12 months.
Muguruza had a sloppy opening service game of the set, allowing Bogdan to break and get on the scoreboard, which the Romanian followed with a hold for 2-0 after a powerful service winner. In her next service game, Bogdan held at love behind more scintillating serves to lead 3-1, ending that game with a wonderful backhand winner.
Muguruza fell into trouble serving while down 2-4, facing double break point, but strong serves of her own allowed her to hold and stay within touching distance. "I knew these things could happen with her," Muguruza said of the big-hitting Bogdan. "I didn’t let myself get down, I didn’t feel like the game was lost. It was the turning point of the [match] and it gave me more control at that point."
That hold immediately paid dividends when the No.1 seed finally leveled the set, breaking Bogdan for 4-4 in a long service game that saw the Romanian squander three game points.
With Bogdan serving at 5-6, Muguruza’s defense kicked into high gear, as the Spaniard chased down everything the Romanian threw at her, pulling her to triple match point. Bogdan saved one match point with another outrageously strong serve, but a deep Muguruza forehand forced an error from Bogdan in the next point, extricating the World No.3 from what turned out to be an extremely challenging set.