Garbine Muguruza has reached the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals for the second time in her career, with a come from behind 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Kiki Bertens. Muguruza, who has recently slipped to 20th in the world rankings, said mental strength was the key to winning the 2 hour and 26 minute battle.
It was just her second win over a top 10 player since Dubai 2018, following on from her third round win against Serena Williams albiet by retirement. "I don't think it was about the game, it was about staying strong mentally," Muguruza said.
“I never gave up on one point”. The two time Grand Slam champion held the early lead and was one game away from taking the first set at 5-3, even serving for the opener at 5-4. But Bertens rallied back to win four games in a row, snatching the opening set from Muguruza’s grasp.
Muguruza responded well, capitalising on a six game winning streak of her own to win the second set 6-1 and level the match. Both players traded breaks in the deciding set but it was Muguruza who claimed the decisive break in the final game to triumph after two hours and 27 minutes.
Bertens’ six aces were nullified by 4 double faults and Muguruza was ultimately able to improve her win-loss record to 2-3 against the World No. 7. “I think it was a very tough match,” Muguruza told reporters after the win.
“I think we both played well. Every rally was very intense, was very long. Basically until the end of the match, any of us could win. “And I'm happy about the level I played, and also how I managed the intensity of the game and not let drop, basically, nothing during the whole match”. Muguruza will now face rapidly rising teenager Bianca Andreescu in the quarterfinals.