For the third time in their careers Garbine Muguruza and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni will meet on the court however this will be their first meeting outside of the Grand Slams. Their first meeting was at US Open last year with Lucic-Baroni winning 6-3 7-6 on that occasion but this year on her way to the final At Wimbledon Muguruza won 6-3 4-6 6-2 but who will progress to the quarter finals in Beijing?
One win will do. Garbine Muguruza is just 52 points off qualifying for Singapore and a win against Lucic-Baroni will secure her place in the WTA Finals which would top off a good year for the Spanish number one who began the year ranked at 24 in the world and turns 22 tomorrow and qualifying for Singapore would be the perfect Birthday present!
Over the last year or so Lucic-Baroni has been playing some very good tennis with some impressive wins against some top players and also broke the record for time between winning two titles. It was a 16 years and 4 months wait for Baroni between winning her second (1998) and third (2014) titles on the tour.
The favourite for the match is Muguruza however I think she has to put it out of her head that she is one win away from Singapore and just focus on winning the match. If she turns up with the tennis she has been playing over the last few weeks after the US Open I see no reason why she shouldn’t progress to the quarter finals.
A good start I feel in this one is essential. What you don’t want is to go a break down in the opening couple of games and get frustrated and then start thinking about Singapore. Muguruza will qualify for Singapore whether she wins or not but all the pre-match talk will be about Singapore and I just think Muguruza has to ignore it and focus on the match and celebrate when she gets there!