No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

Garbine Muguruza vs Ana Konjuh Bank of the West Classic tennis live: Muguruza faces world no. 20 Konjuh in bid to make first Stanford semifinal

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 4 Aug 2017
  • World no. 4 Garbine Muguruza faces Ana Konjuh in the Bank of the West Classic quarterfinals on Friday
  • Muguruza vs Konjuh Bank of the West Classic tennis is live from Stanford on Friday at 12pm local/8pm BST
Garbine Muguruza (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

After a crushing win against Kayla Day, Garbine Muguruza faces a tougher test against Ana Konjuh as the Wimbledon champion bids for her first Bank of the West Classic semifinal.

In her first match since winning Wimbledon, Garbine Muguruza didn’t look like she’d missed a step as she rolled through a low-ranked opponent – will she have a more difficult time against Ana Konjuh as the two power players face off for a place in the WTA Stanford semifinals on Friday?

Playing the Bank of the West Classic for the first time after reaching the quarterfinals on her debut in 2014, world no. 4 Muguruza defied any expectations of an immediate performance slump after capturing her second Grand Slam title on the lawns of Wimbledon as she dropped just two games in a second-round win over Kayla Day. Muguruza had dropped a set to the 17-year-old American at Indian Wells earlier this year and is inconsistent at the best of times, but the player who took the court on Wednesday looked just like the one who had blasted her way to the Wimbledon title (and the French Open title the year before). Day struggled with the sun in her eyes early on and never really properly settled to her task, but Muguruza – despite tape on her left thigh and some unfortunate errors at the net – played like a woman who is deeply confident at the moment, battering away relentlessly from the baseline and working her way in to finish points off in the forecourt. She broke early in both sets and despite a smattering of double faults never looked like letting Day back into the match as she reeled off a 6-2, 6-0 victory.

‘I think I learned a lot from that [Indian Wells] match,’ Muguruza said afterwards during 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 US Open in juniors and she’s just very promising, so I knew I had to be concentrated today.’

Muguruza has now been reunited with coach Sam Sumyk, who was called home just before Wimbledon due to a family emergency, but there was absolutely no need for her to call him during a comfortable victory that gave the firm impression that there’s no emotional or physical hangover from her success at the All England Club.

‘[Wimbledon] is just another tournament,’ Muguruza said during her press conference. ‘I know it might sound weird - because of course winning it gives me confidence - but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to come here and because I just won Wimbledon I think it’s going to be easier to win matches. It’s not at all.

‘I’m just working on trying to forget what happened and just starting Stanford. Stanford is my goal, and that’s it.’

Next up for Muguruza as she bids to make a first semifinal at the Bank of the West Classic – which would be her fifth final-four showing of the year – is Ana Konjuh, who awaits her in Friday’s quarterfinals after a rest day for both.

World no. 20 Konjuh, although still a young player herself at just 19, is a much more accomplished and experienced opponent than 17-year-old Day. Seeded fifth at the Bank of the West Classic, Konjuh first broke into the top 100 in 2014 and was just 16 when she won her first WTA Tour title on the grass of Nottingham in 2015, becoming the youngest player to win a main-tour title since 2006. Injury issues and inconsistency have plagued the Croatian, who briefly dropped out of the top 100 in 2016 after failing to defend her Aegon Open title, but nevertheless she has continued to rack up impressive results: Despite being ranked world no. 92, she made a first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the US Open in 2016, beating seeds Kiki Bertens and Agnieszka Radwanska before losing to Karolina Pliskova. 

Konjuh went on to make the semifinals of Guangzhou and the quarterfinals of Moscow before her 2016 season ended and she has continued to work her way up the rankings in 2017, starting by reaching her second WTA Tour final in Auckland in January, losing to Lauren Davis. Konjuh made quarterfinals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and in Prague and flourished on grass once more, reaching the semifinals of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the quarterfinals of Mallorca and beating Sabine Lisicki, Irina-Camelia Begu and Dominika Cibulkova to make the fourth round at Wimbledon before eventual runner-up Venus Williams ended her run.

Konjuh opened her Stanford campaign by progressing to the second round via a retirement from Marina Erakovic, but there was nothing wrong with her 7-5, 6-4 victory over Natalia Vikhlyantseva – who had beaten her in their last meeting in ‘s-Hertogenbosch – to book her place in the quarterfinals of the Premier-level event and set up a first meeting with Muguruza.

This could be an intriguing one, because Konjuh is such a bright talent with a backhand of surpassing force and brilliance. But like the match with Day, it plays into Muguruza’s hands in that it won’t force the Spanish player to do anything that’s outside her preferred patterns of play. Muguruza doesn’t lose that often to other power players because against them, she just has to play her game and try to execute it at a high level – which she had no trouble doing at Wimbledon, or against Day in her Stanford opener. I can certainly see the top seed booking her place in the semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic for the first time on Friday. 

Muguruza vs Konjuh is scheduled on Stadium Court in Stanford on Friday at 12pm local/8pm BST

Share this with your friends

Your comments:

Garbine Muguruza vs Ana Konjuh Bank of the West Classic tennis live: Muguruza faces world no. 20 Konjuh in bid to make first Stanford semifinal

After an impressive start, Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza aims to keep her roll going as she faces Ana Konjuh in Friday’s quarterfinals: Bank of the West Classic tennis live from Stanford

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages