Miami Open 2017 WTA Round 3 Preview: Garbine Muguruza vs Zhang Shuai

Garbine Muguruza and Zhang Shuai face off in the third round of the Miami Open. Zhang won their previous encounter in this year’s Qatar Open, Muguruza will be keen on some revenge.

(6) Garbine Muguruza (No.7) vs (30) Zhang Shuai (No.33)

Overview: After a breakout 2016 season which saw her win a Grand Slam match for the first time and eventually reaching the Australian Open quarterfinals, Zhang Shuai has failed to back up the results so far. She only won two matches in the Aussie swing, but reached her only quarterfinal of the year so far in Doha. Zhang then fell in the opening rounds of Dubai and Indian Wells to Ana Konjuh and Naomi Osaka respectively. The Chinese player is playing with house money however, coming from a match point down to beat Sara Errani in the second round.

Garbiñe Muguruza is another survivor after her opponent in the second round, Christina McHale had a match point against the Spaniard. However, Muguruza provided a gritty display to beat the American 0-6, 7-6, 6-4. The World No.8’s level has improved since her Roland Garros breakthrough last yearbut she still hasn’t reached the final in any tournament, while she is also having some injury issues. Muguruza made her way into the Brisbane semis but had to retire against Alize Cornet, and after pulling out of Sydney, eventual semi-finalist Coco Vandeweghe kicked her out of the Australian Open. Since then, Muguruza lost to Zhang, her opponent today, in Doha while she also retired again against Kateryna Bondarenko in Dubai. Muguruza will be out to avenge her lost to Zhang.

Head to head: The pair only met once before, in Doha where Zhang beat Muguruza in a tired display from the latter. 

Thoughts: Zhang is a fighter and in her match against Errani, her patience to finish of rallies shone off. However, Muguruza should be aggressive and I don’t see Zhang putting too much pressure on the Spaniard unless she is in bad form.

Prediction: Muguruza to beat Zhang in two

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