Spanish Tennis player Garbine Muguruza stunned world number three Simona Halep in straight sets to book her spot in the final of the women’s singles event of the Australian Open for the first time. She defeated Halep 7-6 (8), 7-5 at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.
Muguruza started off brilliantly and took an early lead in the first set. However, with her up 5-3, Halep came back strongly and took 15 of the next 17 points to even earn herself two set points. Muguruza then took seven consecutive points to eventually win the first set on the tiebreaker.
A former world number one and two-time Major champion, Muruguza won four consecutive games in the second set to enter the final. Halep failed to hold her serve while leading 5-3 before Muguruza stunned her thoroughly in the latter parts of the game.
“You start day by day. Each match had its time. Final is always a long way to go and I have one more match on Saturday. I was never thinking I was down. I knew I was going to have a hard match against Simona Halep,” Muguruza said in her post-match interview.
“I have 48 hours to recover for the final. We work week in week out to prepare and be ready for this moment, to be ready for these courts and these crowds,” she added.
In the title-deciding clash, Muruguza will face 14th seed Sofia Kenin who defeated world number Ashleigh Barty earlier on the day. Kenin battled early nerves and the vocal Aussie crowd who was supporting the local to win 6-7(8), 5-7
The first-set tiebreaker witnessed Kenin trailing before she dramatically saved four match points to escape with the opener. Barty came stronger in the second set and was up with a 2-1 lead as she made Kenin move all over the court and hit winners with ease.
But Kenin never let the pressure get on top of her and kept herself in the touching distance and broke Barty when she was serving for the match to make it 5-5 in the second set. She had saved her best for the last two games as she reeled past the 2019 French Open winner to make it to her first final in a Major.