We have enjoyed an amazing first week at the French Open where there have been many fantastic stories. The defending champion was eliminated in round one, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova look back to their best and we are guaranteed a first time semifinalist. On the basis of the first week, Muguruza is the favorite for the title.
When the Roland Garros draw was revealed, all eyes were drawn to a blockbuster first round encounter between two former champions: Garbine Muguruza and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Many people were worried for the Spaniard because she had been given one of the trickiest opening rounds possible. The 2016 champion took this in her stride before dispatching of her opponent in straight sets.
That first-round battle has proved to be Muguruza’s toughest match yet, and she has been better and better in each round, dropping only seventeen games along the way. No one has managed to take a set off the World #3, and it is difficult to see anyone challenge her with the ruthless level of tennis she has been producing.
Grand Slam Specialist
The Spaniard is a player I call a “Grand Slam Specialist,” and what I mean by that is she produces her very best tennis at the four Majors. All of the great champions are this type of player like the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova. An example of a player who is the opposite of this (so far) is Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian has won eight titles in the last two years but is yet to reach a Grand Slam semifinal; however, that will probably change soon.
Garbine Muguruza is a big match player and really struggles in standard WTA tournaments, as opposed to when she arrives at a Grand Slam where she is a completely different player. The statistics back this up and 25% of her career titles are Grand Slams. She is someone you can rely on in the biggest events and the World #3 has reached Slam finals in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Muguruza looks extremely likely to make it four years in succession.
Only Three Former Champions Left
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are the only women remaining who have lifted the trophy at Roland Garros, along with Garbine Muguruza. The Spaniard will take great confidence in knowing she is the most recent champion as she won in 2016, defeating Williams in the final. Luckily for the Eorld #3, one of the other former champions will lose today as Williams takes on Sharapova in a popcorn fourth-round clash.
Knowing what it is like to be victorious in the French capital could be the difference for Muguruza as she chases her third Grand Slam title. Experience is crucial, just look at Halep in the final last year. The Romanian was on the brink of a maiden Slam title and led by a set and a break only to mentally collapse (Ostapenko’s incredible level did not help either). You can be confident that Muguruza will deliver in the latter stages of these events.
Who is Next?
Lesia Tsurenko will be the Spaniard’s next opponent and it is tough to see the Ukrainian being able to muster a fight. They have played twice before and Tsurenko even managed to score a win in Toronto in 2016. Their most recent encounter was won by Muguraza last year in Wuhan. Tsurenko will take many positives on her solitary victory over the #3, but as I have said before: Garbine Mugurza is a different animal in Grand Slams.
Although great champions like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova look back to their best, it is difficult to see them going all the way in Paris for different reasons (do not be surprised if they do). Muguruza looks more and more likely to win a third Grand Slam title as each round goes on. She is in devastating form right now, peaks for the Grand Slams, and knows what it is like to win the French Open. Garbine Muguruza is the favourite for Roland Garros.