Former World No. 1 Garbine Muguruza and former junior champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova target their first Australian Open semi-final when the pair collide on Wednesday.
Garbine Muguruza ?? vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ?? Match Info
Date: Wednesday January 29
Tournament: Australian Open QF
Court: Rod Laver Arena
Time: 12.30pm local time (1.30am GMT)
Garbine Muguruza vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Head-to-Head
Muguruza leads 4-1
2018 | Birmingham R32 | Muguruza 6-1 6-2
2018 | Stuttgart R16 | Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 RET
2016 | Cincinnati R16 | Muguruza 7-5 6-1
2014 | Tokyo R32 | Muguruza 6-3 7-6(3)
2013 | Miami R64 | Muguruza 4-6 6-2 6-2
Garbine Muguruza vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Match Preview
Both Muguruza and Pavlyuchenkova have recorded some brilliant victories in their last two matches to make the Australian Open quarter-finals – who emerges triumphant to reach their first semi-final in Melbourne on Wednesday?
Added intrigued surrounds this match with Sam Sumyk – ex-coach of Muguruza – now in Pavlyuchenkova’s camp. Sumyk is clearly doing wonders for Pavlyuchenkova early in the season, but his relationship with Muguruza had hit a boiling point that neither of them could recover from, so in the best interests of both parties, they spit towards the end of last season – and each of them are thriving.
Muguruza has been on fire in her last two matches after a challenging start to her Australian Open campaign, where she was battling illness and lost the first set 0-6 in her opening round to Shelby Rogers. However, the Spaniard bounced back to win the next two sets 6-1 6-0 and after surviving Ajla Tomljanovic in three sets in the next round, she’s been almost unstoppable, recording back-to-back wins over top 10 players for the first time since 2017, conquering fifth seed Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-2 and ninth seed Kiki Bertens 6-3 6-3. Muguruza fired 16 winners against Bertens, backing up her complete demolition of Svitolina in style on Monday.
“It feels very good. It’s hard to get here. I feel like I’ve been here I think three years ago. It is very good to be back here. Is one of the Grand Slams that one day I would like to win. It’s exciting,” Muguruza said.
Is it too early to say Muguruza is back? The Spaniard, who was born in Venezuela, successfully defended her Monterrey title last year, but that was as good as it got for the as she ended the season at No. 36 in the world for her first non-top 20 finish since 2014.
It was certainly a far cry from the Muguruza of 2016 and 2017, where she became the only player in history to beat both Williams sisters in a Grand Slam final when she did so to Serena at the French Open and Venus at Wimbledon, while she was also a Cincinnati champion in 2017, the same season she reached World No. 1. One thing’s for sure, this is the best sustained tennis Muguruza has played in quite some time. Can she beat her quarter-final rival for the fifth time on Wednesday?
Pavlyuchenkova has also scored some incredible victories in Melbourne so far, knocking out second seed Karolina Pliskova – who she was 0-6 against – in two tiebreaks, before producing one of the best performances of 2020 so far in edging 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in three sets to ensure a brand new women’s champion will be crowned in Melbourne on Saturday. Pavlyuchenkova blasted a whopping 71 winners as she came from a set down to prevail 6-7(5) 7-6(4) 6-2 to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals for the third time in the last four years, with the Russian saying she’s enjoying her tennis more than ever after the match.
“I think I just find it more fun now,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “I like it. Like, I like these tough matches. I’m enjoying it. Before I think my game was always there, and I could come up with a lot of winners before, too. It’s not enough. It’s not enough just to play. Sometimes… you have to win somehow, find a way. I enjoy that sometimes, too.
“How many times you’re not going to play your best tennis every match, obviously. Sometimes something is off. You just feel more tired or whatever. That’s the part of the game.”
A junior Australian Open champion and World No. 1 in 2006, Pavlyuchenkova hasn’t been able to translate her teenage success onto the main tour, but she’s still maintained a remarkably strong presence near the top of the game for over a decade now, reaching five Grand Slam quarter-finals (before this one) and hitting a career-high ranking of No. 13 in 2011. Pavlyuchenkova started and finished 2019 on bright notes, making the Australian Open quarter-finals and reaching finals in Osaka and Moscow, ending the season at No. 30 – and if she continues to play like this consistently, she should approach her career-high ranking in no time.
Garbine Muguruza vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Prediction
Pavlyuchenkova has never beaten Muguruza in a completed match, so she’s at a clear disadvantage in this match-up. Muguruza has produced her best tennis in her last two matches, so if she does that again, she should be able to find her way past the Russian for the fifth time. The Spaniard also has experience of navigating past this stage in a major, while Pavlyuchenkova has lost every quarter-final she’s played. Muguruza has the edge in pretty much every department coming into this one.