Match Preview Muguruza vs Kuznetsova 11.07 Wimbledon 2017
Wimbledon, London, UK, Grass Courts, WTA
Today sees us look at the first women’s Quarter Final being played at this years Wimbledon, between Spanish world number 15, Garbine Muguruza and Russian world number 8, Svetlana Kuznetsova.
These two have met four times before, with Muguruza leading the head to head 3-1. They have never met on grass, but did face each other on the hard court of Brisbane, Australia in January this year, with the Spaniard winning 7-5 6-4.
Both have have impressive win/loss records on the grass this season, Kuznetsova has won 6 of her 7 matches and Muguruza 7 of her 9. So with both ladies on good form and already feeling nicely acclimatised to the grass, we should be in for a cracking match today.
Wimbledon Results So Far…..
Muguruza beat Ekaterina Alexandorva 6-2 6-4 in Round 1, before defeating Yanina Wickmayer by an identical scoreline in Round 2. The Spaniard then went on to dispatch Sorana Cirstea in very impressive fashion in the Third Round, 6-2 6-2 in just over an hour, and yesterday showed her fighting qualities to fight back from a set down against world number 1, Angie Kerber to win 4-6 6-4 6-4 in Round 4.
Kuznetsova defeated Ons Jabeur in Round 1, 6-3 6-2 in just over an hour, before dispatching Ekatarina Makarova, 6-0 7-5 in a similar time. It was another straight sets win for the Russian in the last Round, as she brushed aside Polona Hercog, 6-4 6-0, after a competitive first set Kuznetsova just hit Hercog off the court with a string of huge winners. Yesterday the Russian outclassed Agnieszka Radwanska (as we previewed yesterday) in Round 4, 6-2 6-4.
I’ve been impressed with both ladies performances this week, especially Kuznetsova who’s yet to drop a set.
Muguruza’s mean serving stats for this fortnight so far look like this; she’s won 64% of her service points and held serve 90% of the time.
Kuznetsova’s mean serving stats for this fortnight so far look like this; she’s won 67% of her service points and held serve 94% of the time.
Both have been serving very well this week, Muguruza has the bigger serve and is likely to hit more aces than Kuznetsova, however the Russian has a very well directed first and second serve, which makes them tricky to return on the grass. I’m expecting both to hold serve quite often today.
Muguruza’s mean returning stats for this fortnight look like this, she’s won 44% of his return points, 44% of her break points and opponents have held 63% of the time against her.
Kuznetsova’s mean returning stats for this fortnight look like this, she’s won 49% of his return points, 46% of her break points and opponents have held 53% of the time against her.
Both will take full swings off the return and look to attack off either wing. Kuznetsova certainly has the better return of serve, and if she can get a good look at plenty of Muguruza’s second serves today, she can really hurt the Spaniard. Muguruza will need to keep her break point conversion % high, if she can do this then she also can cause some problems off the return.
Both possess great firepower off either wing and will look to be aggressive right from the word go. Neither are the best defenders, so whoever gets the first meaningful strike in during the rallies will more often than not emerge the winner. Neither will venture to the net often, instead preferring to trade big blows from the baseline. Expect both players to look to get their forehands into play as much as possible, and expect these to be the source of plenty of winners today.
Despite her poor head to head record (albeit they’ve never played on grass), I just feel like Kuznetsova might edge this one. Her serving and return stats are superior to Muguruza’s for the tournament so far, and having watched both players a lot, I just feel like the Russian is striking the ball so cleanly and consistently at the moment that she can get Muguruza out of her comfort zone and defending far more than she’d like today. Make no bones about it though, the Spaniard can win this, and if she’s playing her best tennis and Kuznetsova isn’t keeping up the high level we’ve seen from her this week then Muguruza will be the victor. Three long sets is a real possibility in this one.
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