With a convincing 6-2, 6-0 victory over American Kayla Day, 2017 Wimbledon Champion Garbiñe Muguruza put to rest any questions about her ability to pull through from a Grand Slam to a lower tier tournament. With a career high of 122, the 17-year-old American may not sound like a threat, but the lefty with a big serve shocked Muguruza when she took a set in Indian Wells, making for a great deal of speculation about how their second meeting might go, especially with Muguruza’s reputation to slump after great wins.
Befitting of a Wimbledon singles champion, however, the Spaniard came out all guns blazing and took the first set 6-2. As she told reporters, her strategy was quite simply to “break fast in the start of the first set” and never “let [Day] play her best tennis.” Muguruza followed through on the strategy, quickly taking the second set 6-0.
After her victory, Muguruza appeared not simply happy, but relieved. With her first post-Wimbledon match under her belt, she is moving forward. Referring to the time following her first Grand Slam win, she explained:
“It’s never easy, and I remember that from last year, to go back in a tournament pretty soon and to forget about what just happened, to concentrate on a new tournament and that match and start fresh so I’m happy that this went my way. It’s easy to mess it up.”
Asked if winning Wimbledon might have given her the confidence it took to beat Day, she pushed back against her reputation for giving stronger performances at more elite tournaments:
“I think [Wimbledon] is just another tournament. It might sound weird, but, of course it gave me confidence, but it doesn’t just because I won Wimbledon it’s going to be easier to win matches. I’m just working on trying to forget what happened… Stanford is my goal and that’s it.”
Madison Keys  def. Caroline Dolehide [Q] 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
Madison Keys survived a strong assault by American qualifier Caroline Dolehide. She lost the first set 3-6 before winning with 6-2 in the second and 6-3 in the third. On two occasions she called coach Lindsay Davenport to the court on changeovers.
She blamed her recent lack of match play experience for her issues, but was mostly proud of herself when speaking with media. She explained:
“It was one of those matches where I figured it out in the middle of the set and was able to settle in and go from playing more conservative and getting my rhythm back to then finding my game and going for my shots and all that.”
While to the observer the match looked shaky, Keys walked away with great confidence in herself and her on-court problem solving skills.
As she put it: “It’s knowing that each match on court is like that, that helps build that confidence.”
Muguruza faces Ana Konjuh in the quarter-final round, Friday, and Madison Keys will play Lesia Tsurenko.
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