The sixth day of action at the Monterrey Open is fastly approaching and the semifinals are taking place with my feature match being the second on Estadio GNP Seguros between the top seed Garbine Muguruza and sixth seed Ana Bogdan. The favourite to progress through this encounter is Muguruza by quite a large margin, which is most likely due to the ranking gap between these two.
So far this season, Garbine Muguruza has not lived up to expectations as she has been hampered by injury early on and has not been able to get a consistent run of good results. She came to the Australian Open without perfect preparation as she was unable to complete her two warm-up events due to injury and that showed as she went down in the second round to Su-Wei Hsieh. She managed to have some rest time and then got her best result of the season so far at the Qatar Total Open where she made the final with wins over Sorana Cirstea and Caroline Garcia before falling to Petra Kvitova. She managed to carry that good form into the Dubai Tennis Championships as she made the semifinals with a win over Caroline Garcia before falling to Daria Kasatkina but they have been her only real standout events so far. That is apparent in her results from the Sunshine Double which saw her fall in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open to Sachia Vickery and the fourth round of the Miami Open to eventual champion Sloane Stephens. So far this week she has looked in fine form with a first round 6-1, 6-1 win over Renata Zarazua, a second round 6-2, 6-3 win over Alison Riske and then a quarterfinal 6-3, 6-0 win over Ajla Tomljanovic. For Ana Bogdan, she has played scarcely this season seeing Monterrey is her first event since February but she has had mixed results at her events. She started the year at the Shenzhen Open and she lost to Kristyna Pliskova in the second round and then took a bad loss in the first round of qualifying at the Hobart International to Naiktha Bains. She had her best run at a slam thus far at the Australian Open as she made the third round before going out to Madison Keys. Her only other event before this was the Taipei Open and she went out in the second round to Eugenie Bouchard. Unline Muguruza, there has had to be some fight so far this week for Bogdan as she got a tough 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(7-5) first-round win over Victoria Rodriguez before having it a bit easier in her recent rounds with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo and then to make the semifinals a 6-2, 6-4 win over Danielle Collins. I have to give the edge in terms of confidence to Muguruza because she has got so many more matches and wins under her belt recently.
Garbine Muguruza has played this event twice before but not for a number of years and she never enjoyed much success at this event. She made her debut in 2012 when she was just eighteen and she fell in the qualifying first round to Tatjana Maria. She returned two years later in 2014 and she failed again to win a match despite gaining direct entry into the main draw as Donna Vekic got the better of her in the first round. This is the first time in her career that Ana Bogdan has competed at the Monterrey Open in Mexico. Due to both women having no experience at winning matches at this event, neither player has a major edge in this area but the slight one does have to go to Muguruza seeing she had stepped foot on these courts prior to this year.
Head to Head Record
Garbine Muguruza and Ana Bogdan have never faced each other in an official WTA main draw match.
I do think that Garbine Muguruza will be pushed in this match-up because it is the first time that she has met Ana Bogdan, so she will take time to get used to her game style which could trouble Muguruza if Bogdan is able to get enough height and depth to trouble the clean motion and stroke of Muguruza. I think that will be the case early on as the top seed will struggle to find rhythm and Bogdan won’t give her many errors to get the early break. As Muguruza gets more into the match, some of the initial Bogdan intensity will start to wear off and let Muguruza back into the set. I think that eventually a tiebreaker will be forced and the Spaniard will show what makes her such a first-class player and she will breeze through it to take the opener 7-6(7-2). I think to start the second set, we might see a bit of a let off from Muguruza after fighting so much to get back into the opener and that will give Bogdan the opportunity to take an early break lead again. This time, I don’t think that Muguruza will have to fight as much because Bogdan will have what happened in the opener in the back of her mind and get nervous as she gets closer to closing it out. If that happens, Muguruza will be able to take her opportunity back in and I think she will take the 7-6(7-2), 6-4 win due to the nerves and errors of Bogdan.