In her first match since her historic triumph at the All England Club, top seed Garbiñe Muguruza made light work of young American Kayla Day, needing just 58 minutes to brush aside the former junior world number one, 6-2, 6-0, to return to the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic.
Merciless Muguruza Hits the Ground Running, Dominates Day
Having been surprised by Day’s quality in the early stages of their first meeting earlier this year at Indian Wells, Muguruza was not going to underestimate the challenges her 17-year-old opponent this time around, and it proved telling as she hit the ground running, showing little signs of rust in what proved to be a very dominant opening set.
After securing the early break at love, it was only a matter of time until the reigning Wimbledon champion doubled her advantage in the fifth game, stringing together a series of well-constructed points and taking advantage of a few loose errors from Day, including off the reply of a deep return from the Spaniard on break point, to secure the double break and a 4-1 lead in the process.
As Muguruza continued to step in and play on her terms, Day did show glimpses of what she is capable of, even having the chance to get one of the breaks back as the Spaniard served for the set at 5-2, but it was only delaying the inevitable as the top seed closed out a dominant opening set, 6-2.
Muguruza Moves on, Makes Big Statement
Continuing to play aggressively with the same patterns that led her to her second Grand Slam title a few weeks ago, Muguruza continued to take it to Day and continued to reap the rewards; a trio of quick games to start the second all going to the world number four and securing her another pair of breaks in the process.
Despite some late resistance from Day, it proved to be all in vain for the young American as she was simply unable to play on her terms and with the same effectiveness that saw her go within two games of upsetting Muguruza in Indian Wells. As a result, it was only a matter of time until Muguruza sealed the deal in rather convincing fashion: a third successive break of serve after an easy consolidation of the double break allowed her to serve for the shutout second set, which she easily clinched to complete the clinical victory in just under an hour.
“I think I learned a lot from that match [against Day in Indian Wells],” Muguruza said in her on-court interview. “I knew that it was going to be difficult, so I really trained hard and prepared. Kayla has just won the U.S. Open in Juniors and she’s just very promising, so I knew I had to be concentrated today.”
Next Up for Muguruza: Ana Konjuh
Awaiting the two-time major champion in the last eight is big-hitting fifth-seeded Croat Ana Konjuh, who scraped her way past Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva in two tight sets earlier in the day. This will be the pair’s first meeting and will be a great test for two of the biggest hitters in the top 20 as they both look to kick their U.S. Open Series campaigns into high gear this month.