MONTERREY, Mexico - Defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza will have an opportunity to play for a second straight Abierto GNP Seguros title on Sunday.
The No.2 seed needed just 76 minutes to defeat No.8 seed Magdalena Rybarikova in Saturday's first semifinal, 6-2, 6-3.
The Slovak was hobbled by an apparent left leg injury in the match, receiving a medical timeout after the first seven games, and her varied, counter-attacking tennis was largely diffused by the Spaniard's power game.
"I'm very happy to be here in the final. It's always a good feeling," Muguruza said on-court after the match.
"Today was a good match and I'm happy to play in front of this crowd and come every year. Every match is very different, every opponent is very different. Today, I played good, so I'm happy about that."
Muguruza won 10 of the first 13 games, and did not face a break point until she held a 6-2, 4-2 lead, at which time Rybarikova carved out a 0-40 edge to get the second set back on serve.
However, the Slovak was unable to ever draw level in the match, as Muguruza broke once more and served out the match to 15 to seal a spot in her first final since she lifted the trophy on this very court 12 months ago.
Though both players served four aces and converted on 50 percent of their break point chances, Muguruza was much more effective behind her serve, as she landed nearly 80 percent of her first deliveries for the match.
The two-time major champion broke four times on eight opportunities, and is garaunteed to face another major champion in Sunday's final, in either top seed Angelique Kerber or Victoria Azarenka.
"I feel really good right now. I played better in this match than the others this week and I'm feeling great physically," Muguruza added to reporters.
"Whenever I play, there's pressure, but a final makes it more special. I don't feel like I'm defending the title. That can't be taken away from me, but it's just a new year, and a new final."