Fifth seed Elina Svitolina and former World No. 1 Garbine Muguruza renew their rivalry when they clash in the Australian Open third round on Saturday.
Elina Svitolina ?? vs Garbine Muguruza ?? Match Info
Date: Saturday January 25
Tournament: Australian Open R3
Court: Rod Laver Arena
Time: 7.00pm local time (8.00am GMT)
Elina Svitolina vs Garbine Muguruza Head-to-Head
Svitolina leads 6-4
2019 | Wuhan R32 | Svitolina 7-5 6-2
2019 | French Open R32 | Muguruza 6-3 6-3
2019 | Dubai R16 | Svitolina 6-1 6-2
2017 | Toronto QF | Svitolina 4-6 6-4 6-3
2017 | Rome SF | Svitolina 4-1 RET
2017 | Indian Wells R16 | Muguruza 7-6(5) 1-6 6-0
2016 | Tokyo QF | Svitolina 6-2 4-6 6-3
2016 | Dubai R16 | Svitolina 7-6(3) 6-3
2012 | Wimbledon R128 | Muguruza 6-3 6-0
2012 | French Open R64 | Muguruza 6-1 7-5
Elina Svitolina vs Garbine Muguruza Match Preview
A marquee encounter awaits in the third round of the Australian Open as Svitolina and Muguruza square off for the 11th time in their careers.
The pair have taken contrasting routes in both their careers in recent years and the Australian Open this week. Svitolina has risen to be a top 10 mainstay and has advanced into the third round in Melbourne without dropping a set, while Muguruza has tumbled from World No. 1 to outside of the top 30, while the Spaniard has been forced to battle her way through a pair of three-setters to secure her spot in Round 3.
After starting her campaign with a 6-4 7-5 win over Katie Boulter, Svitolina registered another straight sets victory over Lauren Davis, who was involved in a memorable Australian Open match with Simona Halep two years ago, in the second round on Thursday night. Svitolina improved to 5-0 over Davis, but she had to fight hard in the second set, breaking the American as Davis served for the set before edging the ensuing tiebreak to move on by a 6-2 7-6(6) scoreline.
“It was very tough. It’s always tough to play against Lauren. She always gives you one extra ball. You have to move your feet well to adjust to her flat shots. I was moving well today and now we can all go to bed,” Svitolina said after the match finished at 12.45am local time.
A quarter-finalist in Melbourne the last two years, Svitolina will be hoping to improve on that result over the next fortnight. Despite failing to win a title in 2019, Svitolina significantly improved her results at the slams, reaching back-to-back semi-finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, where she ended up losing to Simona Halep and Serena Williams respectively.
It was an up-and-down season for Svitolina in 2019 – she battled injury for much of it and as mentioned, failed to win a title, but on the other hand, she made great inroads at the majors and is now equipped with the confidence that she can make it to the business end. The Ukrainian’s results were still enough to see her qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals Shenzhen, where she was the defending champion after winning the biggest title of her career at the event in 2018. Despite coming into the event on a two-match losing run, Svitolina stepped it up to beat Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin, Simona Halep and Belinda Bencic to reach the final, but she couldn’t defend her title, losing to Ashleigh Barty in straight sets.
Ending the year at No. 5 in the world, Svitolina didn’t get her 2020 season off to the best of starts as she was crushed 1-6 1-6 by Danielle Collins in Brisbane. However, Svitolina is starting to build some momentum in Melbourne – and she’ll need to be at her best for this big third round encounter.
Muguruza, as mentioned, has endured a couple of extremely rough seasons, splitting with coach Sam Sumyk, which I think was best for everyone, and falling from a two-time Grand Slam champion and World No. 1 to a player ranked outside the top 30 in the space of two years. You could see how much Muguruza has been suffering from her teary reaction to winning her first round Australian Open clash, where she recovered from being bageled in the first set to beat Shelby Rogers 0-6 6-1 6-0. Muguruza was forced into another big battle in the second round against Ajla Tomljanovic on Thursday, but she regrouped strongly after losing the second set, outlasting the Australian on Rod Laver Arena 6-3 3-6 6-3 for a confidence-boosting win.
Muguruza successfully defended her Monterrey title last year, but that was as good as it got for the Spaniard 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. Muguruza’s shown glimpses of her best tennis over the last two years, but every time she starts to find a bit of momentum (Australian Open R16 and Indian Wells QF last year for example), she’s dished out a poor performance and is back at square one. Can she grab one of her biggest wins in years on Saturday?
Elina Svitolina vs Garbine Muguruza Prediction
These two are no strangers to each other, with Svitolina leading the head-to-head 6-4, including winning three of their last four matches. I’ve made the mistake of thinking Muguruza’s returning to her best before and I can’t do it again. Svitolina is just so solid and she’ll make the Spaniard play a lot of balls – and more often than not over the last couple of seasons, Muguruza has capitulated when asked for some consistency.