Dubai Desert Classic: Garbine Muguruza fights past the stubborn Elise Mertens to reach the final in Dubai


It was the struggle of an irresistible force against an immovable object. Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza fought her way to victory against a relentless Elise Mertens and secured her place in the Dubai Tennis Women’s Final 2021. In an impressive match that lasted over 2 hours, the Spaniard was in glowing form as she Mertens defeated 6: 4, 7: 6 (7: 5).

Muguruza won more than any other player on the ATP tour. Although Muguruza was beaten 6-1, 6-1 against Kvitova in the Doha final, she looked very confident when Irina-Camelia Begu, Amanda Anisimova, Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka fell on their strong backhand game.

An emotional Muguruza was relieved after converting her match point to a rock-solid Mertens.

About the physical fight against Mertens, Muguruza said: “Despite the non-stop games, I believe that my body is strong and that this can also be achieved through the hard work of my team. Although age does matter, I believe I’ve found my balance and that is my confidence when I go on the pitch. “

Belgian star Elise Mertens had a magical run in Dubai and defeated greats like Viktoriya Tomova 4: 6: 6: 2: 6: 4, Shelby Rogers 6: 3: 6: 3, Caroline Garcia 6: 4: 6: 2 and Jessica Pegula 5 -7 7-5 6- 0. The Belgian is not a desirable opponent on a bad day, but given her lack of firepower, it looked bearable for the former Wimbledon champion.

A nervous start from both saw Mertens and Muguruza trade disruptions early on. In the 52nd minute, Muguruza shot a backhand on the line to secure the first set 6-4. Mertens shouldn’t go down without a fight. She used a variety of incredible shots in the second set to avoid three breakpoints and hold 1-1, and the set became highly competitive and turned into a tiebreaker.

The former number 1 in the world rose 6: 3 in the breaker and ended the victory on her seventh match point with a courageous game in the net.

The Spaniard praised Merten’s defense, suggesting that it took immense composure to overcome her shots.

“I needed a few match points to finish the match. She is a very talented player and always gives you an extra ball back. I’m just glad I was able to close it in two sentences, ”said 27-year-old Muguruza.

The Spaniard will attempt to claim her first title since Monterrey in 2019 and will be competing for a first Dubai tennis crown since reaching the finals in the 2015 and 2018 editions.

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