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Garbine Muguruza v Ying-Ying Duan WTA Doha predictions, betting tips & live stream: Muguruza to win three-set tussle

Leye Aduloju 13 Feb 2018
  • Garbine Muguruza vs Ying-Ying Duan is live from Doha on Tuesday, 13 February from 4:30pm local time/ 1:30pm GMT
  • Muguruza won their only previous meeting 6-4 6-0 at the 2017 US Open
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Doha at Unibet > sports > tennis
Garbine Muguruza. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

After a stuttering start to the season, world number four, Garbine Muguruza looks to finally get going at this week’s Qatar Open in Doha, and she serves off her campaign on Tuesday when she takes on China’s Ying-Ying Duan.

Garbine Muguruza vs Ying-Ying Duan WTA Qatar Open tennis is live from Doha on Tuesday, 13 February from 4:30pm local time/ 1:30pm GMT. Watch and bet on tennis live from Doha at Unibet > sports > tennis

Doha has not been Muguruza’s finest hunting ground, with her best result being a quarter-final in 2016, but the Spaniard will hope for a deeper run this week as she looks to kickstart a season that has barely got off the ground.

The 24-year-old retired in the third set of her season-opener in Brisbane against Aleksandra Krunic due leg cramps, after which she accepted a late wildcard into Sydney in her search for match practice ahead of the Australian Open. The Spaniard defeated Kiki Bertens in her opening match in Sydney, but she soon withdrew from the rest of the tournament because of a leg injury. She was obviously in no shape nor form to challenge in Melbourne, and was duly foxed out of the tournament by Su-Wei Hseih in the second round. 

Muguruza is no stranger to slow starts and retirements- she suffered four retirements in the opening half of last season, but she dramatically picked up the pace in the final six months, carving through the field to claim a second major title at Wimbledon, and winning Cincinnati a few weeks later on her way to becoming the No. 1 player in the world. Muguruza maintained decent form through the second half of the season, but her reign at the top of the sport ended in Beijing, when familiar foe, retirement struck again in the opening round, paving the way for Simona Halep to overtake her on top of the rankings.

With Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep jumping out of the blocks in 2018 with titles and finals, and disputing the No. 1 ranking, Muguruza has been pushed into the background somewhat, but the powerful Spaniard remains dangerous in any WTA draw, and a strong week at the Premier 5 meet in Doha will certainly put her firmly back in the reckoning.

With nine of the top-ten players present in Doha, the tournament was never going to be easy, but Muguruza finds herself in a relatively manageable quarter of the draw, bounded by Caroline Garcia on the other side. Her stuttering start to the year means nothing is guaranteed- not even an opening round win against Chinese qualifier, Ying-Ying Duan.

Duan has already recorded a couple of good wins this week- she notably battled past Vera Zvonareva in the three sets in the final round of qualifying, before easing past Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in the opening round of the main draw. 

Ying-Ying Duan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
She has already troubled a couple of top players this year, stretching Simona Halep to three sets in Shenzhen, and pushing Jelena Ostapenko through the distance at the Australian Open. However, she is yet to win consecutive matches this year, suffering second-round defeats in Shenzhen, Melbourne and Taipei. Will the trend continue in Doha?
While she may not be the best mover on the tour, her big-hitting makes her very dangerous and her 6ft 1in frame gives her plenty of reach. Duan has been as high as No. 60 in the world, a spot she attained in April 2017, following a semi-final run at the WTA 125K meet in Zhengzhou. She had earlier reached quarter finals in Sydney and Kuala Lumpur and made the third round of the Australian Open in the opening quarter of the season. However, she struggled for match wins in the second half of the year, managing just a couple of 125K quarter finals in Dalian and Hua Hin, ending the season just outside the top 90. She has since dropped out of the top-100, after failing to replicate her results from the opening weeks of last season.

Duan was well beaten in her only previous meeting with Muguruza, crashing to a 6-4 6-0 defeat in the opening round of last year’s US Open. This one could be closer than that. Duan already has a few wins under her belt in Doha, and could catch Muguruza cold as the Spaniard makes her first appearance since the Australian Open. There are also the question marks around Muguruza’s fitness, although a few weeks out of competition should have ensured adequate healing of whatever might be bothering the Spaniard. 

Duan strikes a heavy ball when she is allowed time, but so does Muguruza. The Spaniard is more solid off both wings, and crucially, she also moves a lot better. If she is physically alright, she should come through this after overcome some initial rustiness.

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Garbine Muguruza v Ying-Ying Duan WTA Doha predictions, betting tips & live stream: Muguruza to win three-set tussle

Garbine Muguruza begins her Qatar Open campaign against China's Ying-Ying Duan. Can Muguruza kickstart a stuttering season in Doha? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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