After falling in the quarterfinals of the Dubai tournament last week, Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza saved the first round of the Qatar Open in Doha on Sunday by defeating Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, 71 of the world, by 7-5, 5- 7 and 6-3 in two hours and 50 minutes.
The Spanish finalist in this tournament in 2018, had a bad time as almost always before the player born in Togliatty, her executioner in two of the last four clashes: Madrid and Dubai two seasons ago. The game was a madness of broken serves, with a total of 17. Garbiñe broke 9 of 12 opportunities, and Kasatkina 8 of 28.
The runner-up of the Australian Open suffered from the beginning. He won the first set in 64 minutes, after having an initial 2-0 lead and having an opportunity to score 3-0, but his irregularity and the constancy of the Russian trained by the Spanish Carlos Martinez made him lose three consecutive games, one of them when Kasatkina won the last point after losing the racket in an exchange.
Muguruza dictated the game, but sometimes he rushed too much in his uploads to the net giving the Russian advantage with his failures. The Spanish needed to get twice in this set to finally get this sleeve at the second chance.
The fight remained fierce in the second set, in which only the fifth game was decided in 15 minutes, with the Spanish saving five break opportunities. After this, Muguruza was more stable, placed with 5-3 and service, and had a match ball but again he returned the suspense, because he wasted it with a double foul, the fourth of his account, and then gave his serve .
After two hours of fighting, and with 5-5, Muguruza momentarily noticed the disappointment of being able to seal his victory before. He lost his service then and with his failures delivered the second set to Kasatkina in 62 minutes.
A break in the fourth game (3-1) served to put distance in favor of the Spanish, who although he gave his serve in the fifth, countered the next. Garbiñe Muguruza calmed his game a little more at the end to close the duel in almost three hours of fighting.
He will now face Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic who defeated fellow countryman Priscilla Hon, 6-2 and 6-4. Muguruza has already won the “aussie” this year at the Australian Open, the second victory in three games. .