Welcome to another installment of LiveAnalysis! Today we have the second meeting between World No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki and rising star Garbiñe Muguruza. The Spaniard won the first meeting rather easily (6-2, 6-4) last year in Miami.
Remember to refresh this page often, as I will be providing game-by-game analysis throughout the match!
As in previous LiveAnalysis posts, I’ll be using a bit of “tennis shorthand” today. Here’s your glossary:
BP: Break Point
DTL: Down the line (means the same as “up the line”)
GP: Game Point
SP: Set Point
S&V: Serve and Volley
SW: Service Winner
UFE: Unforced Error
No preamble – let’s just jump into the action!
First Set – Caroline Wozniacki will serve first.
0-0: Caroline starts off the match by smartly coming to net early in a rally. That’s a very good play: Muguruza isn’t a top-level defender, so anytime you can get her on the run good things might happen. However, the sheer power of Garbiñe follows, with a brutal CC FH, and then a clean CC BH winner. 15-30. A great return makes it 15-40, double BP. A fantastic return triggers a short FH for Muguruza, and she’s broken to start the match!
Fantastic start for Muguruza, who keeps seeing the ball so clearly these days. She’s only lost one set in her past 10 matches.
Unrelated: this was said during the warm-up by the Aussie male commentator:
"Wozniacki, Scandinavian with good looks & the smoldering good looks of her opponent. Latin good looks." WHO IS THIS GUY.
— Victoria Chiesa (@vrcsports) January 18, 2014
1*-0, Muguruza: Wozniacki is already finding it very hard to keep Muguruza from unleashing bombs from the baseline. Just as I type that, Wozniacki survives a couple of extended rallies, and Garbiñe misfires badly. 15-40. The first BP is saved with a brilliant I-O BH by Muguruza off of Wozniacki’s return – a simple swinging volley follows. The 2nd BP is saved with another good BH, this time DTL. A GP goes begging with a DF moments later. Just a small delay, as an Ace seals the consolidating hold.
Muguruza is playing very coherent aggressive tennis: she’s trying to take advantage of every short ball by targeting the corners, and then moving forward and finishing points with easy shots into the open court. Simple stuff, well executed.
2-0*, Muguruza: An easy service game for Wozniacki, except for a DF and botched volley. Wozniacki actually got some depth with a shot up the middle, triggered the error.
Wozniacki has to find ways to push Muguruza back and not let herself get attacked all the time. She needs to use her very good CC BH to open up the court and get Muguruza running. If the idea is to just wait for Muguruza to miss short balls…this will be a short match.
2*-1, Muguruza: Nice hitting into the open court from Wozniacki, 0-15. That was smart, safe hitting. A very good rally takes place at 30-all. Lots of defending by both players, and it’s Wozniacki who comes out on top. 30-40. The BP is wasted by a cheap BH UFE by Wozniacki. She’ll regret that if she can’t break here. However, a DF into the net triggers another BP, which is converted this time.
I like what Wozniacki is trying to do here. Keeping Muguruza on the run is her only option, really. Giving Muguruza time = death.
2-2*: Wozniacki makes a couple of cheap errors, and falls behind 0-30. Later, a very poor DF makes it 15-40, double BP. And the break is converted with yet another brilliant I-O BH winner. Fantastic shot.
Wozniacki will rue that service game. After working so hard to get the break back, she more or less handed the advantage right back. Though that was a quality shot by Muguruza to clinch it.
3*-2, Muguruza: Wozniacki smartly goes behind Muguruza after yanking her wide on the BH side, and forces the error. That’s another good play by Woz. However, Muguruza recovers with some good serves (2 Aces), and some more aggressive, play. Another break has been consolidated.
I’d love to ask any of Muguruza’s rivals if her shots feel as heavy as they seem on TV.
4-2*, Muguruza: Woz DFs to go down 0-30, but avoids the 0-40 trap when Garbiñe botches a makeable FH return. However, a rather violent mishit by Wozniacki brings some more BPs at 15-40. The first is saved with an Ace up the T. The second is saved with a SW out wide. Very good serving by Caroline. Muguruza misfires on a BH DTL, and Woz has a chance to escape. Which she does, after Garbiñe goes for too much on a 2nd serve return that barely misses.
— Australian Open (@AustralianOpen) January 18, 2014
4*-3, Muguruza: Garbiñe misses on a short FH DTL, goes down 0-30. Another FH miscue brings 0-40. Triple BP. Wozniacki only needs one of those, since she hits a gorgeous CC BH return off a tame 2nd serve, forces the error, and gets back on serve.
4-4: Pretty fantastic game by Wozniacki – good 1st serves, a nice BH DTL, and smart hitting behind Muguruza again. Truth be told, Garbiñe also botched a makeable volley, and then sent a swinging volley badly long.
We’ve reached crunch time, and Garbiñe is no longer hitting the ball as cleanly as before. Wozniacki is getting a lot of depth on her shots, but most importantly, getting the tall Spaniard on the run almost with every single shot.
4*-5, Wozniacki: At 15-all, Garbiñe wastes a great wide serve with some sluggish footwork forward. She keeps missing first serves, too. And second serves, too: a very bad DF makes it 15-40, double Set Point. And it’s immediately converted, as Muguruza nets a regulation BH.
To think Garbiñe had break points to go up 5-2 in that first set. She ends up losing it 4-6.
First Set to Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4
Here are your Set 1 Stats:
Second Set – Caroline Wozniacki will serve first.
0-0: Straightforward hold to 15 by Wozniacki.
This is a must-win game for Muguruza. The bleeding needs to stop.
1-0*, Wozniacki: Finally, Garbiñe rights the ship somewhat and holds easily to 15. A sight not seen for a while.
Also, Muguruza apparently got a coaching violation at the end of the 1st set.
1*-1, Wozniacki: An unremarkable, easy hold for Wozniacki is only memorable for a time violation called on Muguruza after she challenged a Wozniacki serve. Caroline inquired why Muguruza didn’t get a point docked (given the coaching violation), and we’re told it’s because both warnings are for separate systems.
There is only one way out of this match for Muguruza, and it’s for her to keep being aggressive. She isn’t a great mover, and her serve is getting picked apart now. If she sees half a chance to attack from the baseline, she should.
The other thing that needs to happen for Muguruza is more and more FH-to-FH exchanges. She’s been mindlessly sending way too many neutral balls to Wozniacki’s BH.
2-1*, Wozniacki: A game reminiscent of the start of the match, with Muguruza pummeling short balls left and right, to good effect. Solid hold to 15.
2*-2: One thing Wozniacki keeps doing very well is forcing Muguruza BH errors with some nice angles and depth. Garbiñe does not defend that wing all too well yet. It’s an easy hold to 15 by Wozniacki that ends with a horrific Muguruza FH volley/smash.
Another thing that has happened in this match is that Muguruza doesn’t seem as willing to go big with her CC FH anymore. She’s more than happy to pull the trigger with the CC BH, but she’s not committing to her trusty CC FH all that much anymore.
3-2*, Wozniacki: The trend above continues, as Muguruza somehow runs around her FH at one point in a rally. She later makes a mess out of a simple FH swinging volley, and can only watch as Woz passes her easily.30-40, BP. It’s saved via a SW out wide. Another BP is saved when Woz goes for a big BH DTL return winner, but narrowly misses. Moments later, Muguruza has escaped.
There is no way around it – Muguruza has to commit to her FH, and that commitment is wavering quite a bit at the moment. She’s missed a boatload of them, yes, but that’s the shot that can pierce through Wozniacki’s defense.
3*-3: Super simple service game for Woz, as Muguruza misses on plenty of returns. And Woznicki easily handles the one Muguruza actually puts in play.
Muguruza’s return game, so dominant in her recent run, has vanished into a reckless mess. She’s winning only 35% of return points. AGAINST CAROLINE WOZNIACKI.
4-3*, Wozniacki: Garbiñe starts with two silly errors. Her confidence on her FH has vanished. A silly BH DTL UFE (she was in very bad position to hit that shot) gives Wozniacki double BP, 15-40. First BP is saved via an Ace up the T. The second is saved via a long rally in which Muguruza finally unleashes some good CC FHs. However, another BP after Muguruza botches yet another swinging volley and gets passed. It is saved with a very smart BH DTL into a very open court. Now a GP for Muguruza, which is converted with strong diagonal shots.
I can’t believe how poor Garbiñe’s swinging volleys have been in this match. No power, completely telegraphed.
4*-4: Another easy hold to 15 for the Woz. Garbiñe looks way too tight and way too uncertain to take over this match. And Wozniacki is managing the proceedings quite comfortably.
5-4*, Wozniacki: It was looking like an easy service game for Muguruza, but she DFs at 40-15. But it does end up being slightly straightforward as Wozniacki sends a FH well long.
Garbiñe seems to have settled down a bit, which bodes well. But she hasn’t threatened Wozniacki’s serve in a while.
5*-5: One thing Wozniacki has been doing better and better is redirecting Muguruza’s returns into the open court. Still, a rare opening appears for Muguruza, as Woz DFs to make it 30-all. However, she gets Muguruza running from side to side, and puts away a very short BH. 40-30. Then, two blistering FHs by Muguruza bring us to deuce. FH UFE by Muguruza, who actually seemed intent on going for bigger FHs once more. GP, Woz. More good FHs trigger another Deuce. Rinse, and repeat, but now BP for Muguruza. It is saved via a nice SW up the T. GP Wozniacki after a grueling rally in which Muguruza just couldn’t find a killer FH, and ended up netting a BH DTL. It is wasted when Woz misses a wide open BH DTL. Another gruelling rally ends with yet another bad BH UFE by Wozniacki. BP for Muguruza, and it’s converted when Woz inexplicably DFs..
Pretty bad collapse from the ex World No. 1. Muguruza was being consistently aggressive again, but Woz had 2 BHs to put the game away, and then that DF on BP. Surprising, given the level of competence Wozniacki had shown all set.
5-6*, Muguruza: Big FH DTL wins the 1st point. Another winner makes it 30-0. Woz forced error, 40-0. Triple set point. Wild BH up the middle by Muguruza – should have gone hard CC instead. 40-15. Muguruza almost botched the easiest of short balls, but still manages to clinch the set. Onto a decider!
Second Set to Garbiñe Muguruza, 7-5
Here are your Set 2 Stats:
Third Set – Caroline Wozniacki will serve first.
0-0: Good FHs from Garbiñe (a nice CC + DTL combo), plus a bad Woz BH UFE make it 15-30. Later, great FH depth from Muguruza at 30-all generate the 1st BP of set 3, which is converted! Garbiñe used the FH DTL very well, triggered the error from Woz. Complete turnaround.
1*-0, Muguruza: Wozniacki plays some exceptional defense, makes zero mistakes, and goes up 0-40 in a flash. The first BP is saved by the luckiest of letcords. Woz was getting everything back. Terrible luck. But then, Muguruza DFs, so Wozniacki breaks.
Despite the bad DF, that was fully deserved for Woz. Played a perfect game – defended very well, with very decent depth.
1*-1: At 0-15, Muguruza unleashes a couple of great FHs (again, the CC + DTL combo), but finishes with a gorgeous dropper. 0-30. Later, Muguruza absolutely unloads on a CC BH, and she has double BP at 15-40 . A brutal CC FH return gives Muguruza the break lead again!
Muguruza has loosened up again, and she’s accelerating through her shots at a nice clip. Nice to see her go through the experience of being so very close to defeat – she faced BPs at 4-3 in the second set after all.
1-2*, Muguruza: Woz no longer able to defend at the high level she was defending just a little bit ago. Muguruza hitting bigger and deeper, though. 40-0 in a flash. A first GP goes begging after some good Woz angles, but a SW up the middle seals the consolidating hold.
1*-3: Woz comes out very aggressively, as she should. Muguruza can’t cope, and it’s 30-15 after some very short rallies. However, Muguruza does find a great return at 40-15, extending the game a bit. Later, Muguruza botches a smash, but not too badly that she can’t win the point later on. Deuce. Unexpectedly, Woz botches a short BH after a great CC BH, so it’s BP for Muguruza. The 20 year old absolutely pummels a 2nd serve FH return, and she’s up 2 breaks!
I have no idea why Wozniacki keeps sending 2nd serves to Muguruza’s FH. It’s a sitting duck, and Garbiñe has shaken off her mid-match nerves already.
1-4*, Muguruza Emphatic hold by Muguruza, and she’s one game away from the upset.
1*-5, Muguruza Wozniacki races to a 40-0 lead, and holds moments later, as Muguruza misses a BH DTL.
2-5*, Muguruza: Garbiñe plays a great opening point…until she mangles a BH DTL into a very open court. 0-15. Wozniacki then drills a CC BH 2nd serve return, 0-30. Another BH UFE for Garbiñe, so triple BP for Woz . First BP is saved with a great CC BH. 2nd with a fantastic wide SW. But Caroline breaks after a nice volley that followed some good, deep aggressive shots
3*-5, Muguruza: A bruising, violent rally starts proceedings, and it’s Wozniacki who cracks, sending a BH well long. 0-15. A brutal I-I FH 2nd serve return triggers a correct FH swinging volley, 0-30. Then, a simply phenomenal point by Muguruza, sealed with a gorgeous I-O BH winner sets up triple MP, 0-40 Then, a fantastic, fantastic rally ends with Muguruza at net, and Wozniacki finally sends a pass wide. The upset is complete!
Game, Set and Match to Garbiñe Muguruza, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
Here are your full match stats:
— WTA (@WTA) January 18, 2014
Muguruza d. Wozniacki 4-6 7-5 6-3. Serve, return, and rally stats: http://t.co/rSrxg19WzH
— Jeff Sackmann (@tennisabstract) January 18, 2014