American World No.4 Sofia Kenin will battle Spanish World No.15 Garbine Muguruza for a semifinal spot in Yarra Valley Classic 2021. It will be a classic rematch of the Australian Open 2020 finale. And just what the fans want to see before the grand opening of the major tournament.
Till now, the 22-year-old American has surpassed two opponents in the WTA 500 event. In her first match after 14-day quarantine, Sofia faced Italy’s Camila Giorgi. But the 29-year-old Italian’s walkover after losing the first set pushed the American to the next round.
Following that, the defending Australian Open champion nearly passed the test of her compatriot Jessica Pegula. That is to say, Kenin won the match after being down 7-5, 4-1 to 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.
For the 2-time Grand Slam champion, both wins have come to her without breaking a sweat. First, Garbine defeated Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-2 and 6-0. Next up, she failed the eleventh seed Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 and 6-2 as the final score.
However, the Spaniards next opponent will not give her such an easy win. Having said that, there is no easier way to separate one from the other.
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Sofia Kenin v Garbine Muguruza: Head-to-Head
The American-Spanish clash has occurred twice on a tennis court before. In both the matches, Sofia has come out as the winner. Now, they will play one-on-one for the third time in three years in Margaret Court Arena.
Their first encounter was at China Open 2019, where Sofia Kenin won the R32 match 0-6, 6-2, 2-6. After that, Garbine Muguruza lost her biggest game last year in the Australian Open final to the American star. Also, Sofia was down one set in the final, but came back stronger and claimed the title 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Moving forward, they are looking forward to updating their head-to-head tally in the quarterfinal.
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Kenin v Muguruza: Prediction
Both Sofia and Garbine back their game with an aggressive mentality and all-out power. But more than that, they are known on the tour for their ability to execute flawless forehand and backhand shots.
For Sofia, it will be tough to rise to her opponent given her earlier performances. However, once the opponent delivers good tennis, the American professional instantly ups her level.
Therefore, it might be a blessing for World No.4 to have a strong opponent. It will even help in her preparations for her title defense starting next week.
On the other side, the former World No.1 has started her season with sheer confidence. But, she will need something more than that to beat her next opponent. If the 27-year-old denies Sofia to take control, she might turn the result of their two previous encounters.
In finality, it seems like a great and equal challenge for both the players. And it will all depend on the day, as to who plays in the semifinals.
Prediction: Sofia defeats Garbine in the decider set.