General Buzz, Miscellany

Where Does Garbiñe Go From Here?

Newly minted French Open Champion. Conqueror of World Number One Serena Williams. And Self-Proclaimer that Clay is Her Territory.

Even Four years ago, it was easy to see that Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza, born in Venezuela, was going to be a superstar.

Now that the floodgates are open, and the potential has begun to be realized, the question becomes, just how good can this player be? Can she reach the elite level?

The evidence suggests the answer is “yes.” Since hooking up with coach Sam Sumyk, who coached Viktoria Azarenka to the number 1 ranking and two Australian Open titles, and even managed to get Eugenie Bouchard to a slam final, Muguruza has become far more consistent, has developed a bigger and more reliable serve, has refined her beautifully powerful forehand and backhand even further, has vastly improved her mental toughness, and has finally fulfilled the enormous potential by winning her first grand slam title, by straight sets win over Serena Williams no less. And while she may feel most “comfortable” on clay, logic says faster surfaces such as hardcourts and grass may potentially yield her best chances for winning majors–and yes, she does already have a Wimbledon final under her belt.

And the good news for Garbiñe is, there’s really no one in sight, save Serena, who ought to trouble her big game.

So for fans of Garbiñe, enjoy the ride. The next several years should see her come into her own as the WTA Tour’s next reigning Queen.

General Buzz, Miscellany, Tournament Match Reports

Williams, Muguruza to Clash in French Open Final

World No. 1 Serena Williams tries again to match Steffi Graf’s tally of 22 grand slam titles on Saturday in Paris, when she will take on 4th ranked Garbine Muguruza for the second time in a slam final in less than a year, the first matchup coming in the 2015 Wimbledon final, won by Williams, 6-4, 6-4. In 2014, the pair met early on the Terre battue at Roland Garros, with Muguruza handing Williams her worst ever loss in a grand slam, 6-2, 6-2.

So far, in 2016 French Open, Muguruza has been in slightly better form but both players have arguably benefitted from a number of upsets plaguing the high seeds in their respective halves of the draw. Muguruza did defeat former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetzova (2009) and finalist Samantha Stosur (2010) en route to the final. Williams dispatched upstart Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in the semis after winning matches against Kristina Mladenovic, Elina Svitolina and Yulia Putintseva on her way to the title match.

So who and what will it be? A record-tying Number 22 for Williams, or a first slam title for Muguruza?

General Buzz, Miscellany

Vickery, Chirico Qualify for Roland Garros

Congratulations to Americans Sachia Vickery and Louisa Chirico, both alums of the Revolution Technologies Pro Tennis Classic clay court USTA Pro Circuit tournament here in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, for qualifying for the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros.

Vickery, 21, a native Floridian with two career ITF singles titles to her credit, earned her spot in the French Open main draw by beating Rebecca Peterson 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, Cindy Burger 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, and Fiona Ferro 6-1, 6-0.

Chirico, now 20, has three career ITF titles, and is a former two time junior grand slam semifinalist, including the 2013 French Open Girls’ semifinal, which she lost to Belinda Bencic. In addition, Louisa, by finishing as runner up in the 2015 Revolution Pro Tennis Classic, wound up as the winner of the 2015 French Open USTA Pro Circuit Wildcard Challenge which earned her a spot in the main draw last year’s edition of the French. She booked her spot in this year’s main draw by defeating Tereza Martincova 6-3, 6-2, Andrea Hlavackova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and Irina Khromacheva 6-3, 6-1.

Congratulations to both women for qualifying and Good Luck in the Main Draw!