In a tightly contested match lasting two hours and twenty minutes, No14 seed Garbiñe Muguruza overcame a stern challenge from the No1 seed Angelique Kerber via a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory in the fourth round of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Club.
With this victory, Muguruza had now won her last five encounters with Kerber, a 2016 finalist against Serena Williams. The Spaniard, a losing finalist in 2015 herself against Williams as well, did not have the best of starts in the match. In the opening set, she only had 55% of her first serves in and had committed a lot of unforced errors, which plagued her for much of the contest.
Kerber had a great first set, getting 74% of her first serves in, but the Spaniard improved her serve in the second set. Additionally, the German’s form dipped in the third set, committing seven of her twelve total unforced errors in the decider. Muguruza had committed 50 unforced errors in total but also produced fifty-five winners and her continued aggressiveness at the net turned the match in her favour.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2017
Kerber defends immaculately
In a tense opening game, Kerber had the better of Muguruza in the rallies. However, the Spaniard held, helped by her two aces. Kerber did not serve very well in the next game but and though Muguruza’s shotmaking moved her across the baseline a lot, the German held to go level 1-1.
Muguruza continued her impressive serving in the next game, however, and won a straightforward game. Kerber held her serve in the next game with her good defence against Muruguza who looked to move forward to apply pressure on the German’s serve.
Typically an all-court defender, Kerber managed to sneak a nice backhand winner down the line to go 30-30 but the Spaniard moved forward and manage to overwhelm Kerber’s defence. In the next game, the pattern of Kerber shepherding Muguruza side to side emerged and the German so far had executed the plan excellently.
Good fight from Muguruza to save break point and hold for 3-2!
Kerber is defending superbly well here. pic.twitter.com/3cscCJCFat
— Live Tennis (@livetennis) July 10, 2017
The German earned the first breakpoint of the match when Muguruza misjudged her approach at the net, allowing the German a passing forehand, but the Spaniard saved it. She had her first serve working again in the next points and finally closed out the game to lead 4-3.
Muguruza wanted to break Kerber’s serve badly and raced to 0-30 lead in the next game. She went aggressive on her groundstrokes down the line and made it to deuce. She continued to attack the net but Kerber defended immaculately from the baseline to hold.
Muguruza piles up the errors
Muguruza’s serve slightly faded in the next game. She followed it up with a couple of overcharged groundstrokes and gifted Kerber two break points. In the next point, Kerber finally earned the first break in the match when her sliced backhand forced an already outbalanced Muguruza to hit her backhand long. The German now leads 5-4 with a chance to close out the set.
The next game saw Kerber lead 30-0. The Spaniard punished a second serve to make it 15-30 but the world No1 earned two set points. Muguruza saved the first set point but Kerber successfully moved the Spaniard across the baseline again and finished with a smash to take the opening set.
Muguruza serve to start the second set. She started to show signs of frustration then, but successfully managed to hold. She remained aggressive at this point though she had to keep her errors at a minimum. That did not happen in Kerber’s service game and the German made it 1 game apiece in the second set.
Kerber went 30-0 up in the next game as Muguruza attacked the net to little effect. Muguruza managed to level 30-30 but the Spaniard overhit another groundstroke down the line to gift Kerber a break point. Muguruza eventually got to deuce and produced her fifth ace to take advantage. In the next point, the Spaniard moved the German across the baseline and finished with a smash to hold. Muguruza continued to pile up the errors in Kerber’s service game and the German easily held on to make it 2-2.
The Spaniard continues her attack at the net
In her next service game, Muguruza had some success in attacking the net but Kerber defended very well again to earn a break point. Kerber tried to engineer a winner starting off with a drop shot that Muguruza returned successfully. Kerber then missed her forehand for the Spaniard to save the break point and the Spaniard produced a smash at the net and a backhand winner to make a crucial hold.
Trailing 2-3, Kerber encountered a very stern test from Muguruza’s aggressiveness at the net. The Spaniard’s attack finally bore fruit as she earned her first break point of the match. The Spaniard committed a slew of unforced errors again however before the German finally held on to level 3-3. The 14th seed kept her errors to a minimum in the next game, going 4-3 up and earning a chance to pressure Kerber’s serve. The German continued to serve well however and quickly took the game to go 4-4 all.
In a vital hold, Muguruza attacked the net devastatingly for the first time in the match. Additionally, she can put pressure on Kerber’s serve for a chance to take the second set. The Spaniard earned a break point following successful ventures at the net. Kerber saved the first break point with a fine serve and forehand down the line. But, Muguruza earned another break point and took the second set with a forehand winner.
Just like in the first set, Muguruza turns the tables around to break in the 10th game. She levels the match by taking the 2nd set 6-4! pic.twitter.com/MW32U82EUO
— Live Tennis (@livetennis) July 10, 2017
Early third set break for the German
In the third set, Kerber earned and converted another break point via a running backhand winner against a stranded Muguruza who had attacked the net. Kerber consolidated the break with a hold to 15 to go 2-0 up in the deciding set. With Muguruza 40-0 up in the next game, Kerber seized a rare chance to move forward at the net. She scored another point but the Spaniard’s increasingly effective attacks toward the net ensured she held on to trail 1-2.
In the next game, Muguruza matched Kerber’s tenacity from the baseline with her improved shotmaking. Due to this, she finally broke Kerber, who threw her racquet to the ground in a display of frustration. The set resets to 2-2 and now hung in the balance.
Muguruza breaks Kerber’s serve
Kerber threatened to break Muguruza again, going up 0-30. However, Muguruza dug deep, moving very well at the baseline before attacking the net to finish the points. At deuce, however, a long backhand from the Spaniard gifted Kerber a break point and the German converted it following a Muguruza error. Muguruza knew the initiative fell to her to keep the match within her reach and she responded well in the next game, attacking Kerber’s serve and breaking back to draw 3-3.
Another tightly contested game ensued with Muguruza making winners and errors and Kerber steadily defending at the baseline. The Spaniard saved three break points and overpowered Kerber from the baseline in the next point to take advantage. The German came up with a remarkable point at the net and earned another breakpoint but Muguruza kept the pressure on Kerber, saved a fourth break point and finally held a very important game, going up for the first time in the third set, 4-3.
Kerber managed to hold her game in a forthright way in the next game but the initiative was on Muguruza. If she held on to her next service game, she can earn an opportunity to break Kerber for the set and match. The Spaniard did and the pressure was on Kerber to hold her serve and stay in the match. With Kerber under a lot of pressure to hold, Muguruza continued her aggression and earned two match points. Kerber saved the first two to make things interesting, However, Muguruza earned another match point and ultimately won the match as Kerber netted a return.