Former world number two Garbiñe Muguruza continues her rich vein of form at Wimbledon. The former French Open champion is playing without pressure after losing her title in Paris. Nonetheless, whilst her coach Sam Sumyk is absent. 1994 Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez is stepping in as her coach throughout the Championships.
Muguruza is certainly a contender to clinch a second Grand Slam singles title. The 2015 runner-up lost to Serena Williams in her first Slam final two years ago, has run rampant throughout the tournament. The 14th seed defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova and Yanina Wickmayer in her first two rounds. On the first Saturday, it was a clinical victory over Sorana Cirstea, 6-2, 6-2. Cirstea got to the third round at Wimbledon for the third time in her career, and she was playing Bethanie Mattek-Sands when she sustained that horrific knee injury, which now requires surgery.
The world number 15 now awaits top seed Angelique Kerber or Shelby Rogers in the fourth round. Muguruza has previously beaten both players at Grand Slams in the past, and she will be ready for either of them.
Muguruza claims the opening set
Both players settled into the match with ease, and both players were going for their shots, and hitting the ball hard. However, the former world number took the negative in the third game of the match she broke the former world number 21's serve to love, taking a crucial 2-1 lead.
Moreover, Cirstea had the chance to immediately break back but she committed unforced errors on the forehand and backhand side. Muguruza consolidated the break, stretching out to a comfortable 3-1 lead. Furthermore, the Spaniard was dialed in and for the second consecutive service game of the Romanian's, she broke her to love to gain a crucial double break.
The dethroned French Open champion continued to serve well, and her forehands were firing on all cylinders. It was too much for Cirstea to handle as Muguruza extended her lead to 5-1.
Finally, the world number 63 was able to win some points on her serve, and she found her serve and produced some crunching forehand winners down the line to keep Muguruza at bay. However, she was taken to deuce but she was let off the hook, as she served an ace to stay in this opening set.
The former world number two had some problems serving for the set, as she suffered from a few nerves, and committed a few unforced errors. Furthermore, she committed a double fault, which gave Cirstea an opportunity to retrieve one of the breaks back. Moreover, her big serve bailed her out of trouble, and a big serve down the middle of the court sealed the first set for Muguruza, 6-2 in just 33 minutes.
Muguruza returns to Manic Monday
The second set was intriguing to see if the 14th seed could keep up her intensity, which is vital going forward. Furthermore, Cirstea got off to a good start by holding her serve with authority.
The Spaniard responded with a hold of serve of her own to level proceedings at 1-1. However, the former world number two gained the crucial break in the second set, gaining control of this match to race out to a 2-1 lead.
All aspects of Muguruza's game were clicking, and she was coming forward to the net, producing some delightful volley winners, and good serving out wide, and down the middle. She consolidated the break to lead 3-1.
Once again, the turning point of the second set was the fifth game of the set, and it seemed as though that Cirstea had given up. Muguruza raced out to a 0-40 lead, creating three break points but the Romanian staved off all three of them. However, she was under pressure at deuce, and it took the eighth break point for Muguruza to gain the double break by virtue of a poor forehand unforced error in a lengthy nine-minute game.
The 14th seed continued to serve well as she did not hesitate to come forward to the net by producing a drop shot winner to lead 5-1. Cirstea was bitterly disappointed and she trailed 0-30 in her final service of the game. However, she held onto her serve but delayed the inevitable.
The 2015 Wimbledon runner-up booked her place in the second week at Wimbledon for the first time since reaching the final two years ago by creating her first match point with a big first serve out wide, coupled with a backhand winner down the line. She converted the match point by virtue of Cirstea's forehand sailing long.
By the numbers
Last year's French Open champion had a high percentage on her serve. The Spaniard got 62 percent of her first serves in and she won 78 percent of the points on it. Muguruza also produced 18 winners, the same amount as Cirstea, and a fewer unforced error. Muguruza committed ten unforced errors, in contrast to Cirstea who committed 17.