All the top eight seeds in Stanford have proceeded to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004 in a WTA event! This provides a blockbuster line-up for the last eight matches and we have a fun one ahead of us in the first match of the day featuring top seed Garbine Muguruza against Ana Konjuh.
(1) Garbine Muguruza [No.5]
Route to this stage
R2: d. Kayla Day, 6-2 6-0
2017 Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza made light work of her young opponent, Kayla Day in her first match since her triumph at the All England Club. Muguruza is infamous for her inconsistency and being unable to back up her big results but she seems more mature now and seemingly is handing the pressure and expectations pretty well. Muguruza has never exactly done well during the US hard court swing and she will have very little points to defend up to next year. This is a chance for Muguruza to climb up the rankings and take the No.1 spot, can she continue to handle the pressure and make even bigger strides in her young career?
(5) Ana Konjuh [No.20]
Route to this stage
R1: d. Marina Erakovic, 6-3 1-0 ret.
R2: d. Natalia Vikhlyantseva, 7-5 6-4
Starting the year at No.47, Ana Konjuh has had a decently consistent season and she has been rewarded with a place in the Top 20 for the first time in her career! Other than a final appearance in Auckland, losing to Lauren Davis, the Croatian had a quiet three months with the only exception a quarterfinal run in Dubai. Not doing much on the clay (her worst surface), the teenager racked up eight wins throughout the grass court swing, making the semifinals in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, quarterfinals in Mallorca and a fourth round run in Wimbledon. The World No.20 has quite a lot to defend in the next few months as she ended the 2016 season on a high by reaching the quarterfinals in the US Open and made a semi in Guangzhou and a quarter in Moscow. We’ll see if she can continue posting decent results and stay in the Top 30…
Stat: In their previous matches, Muguruza won 78% of first serve points while Konjuh won 72%. Getting the first serve in will be crucial for both players, especially Konjuh who only got 49% of first serves in against Vikhlyantseva.
Thoughts: This is going to be a really fascinating match considering both players have the same type of game – big serves, big groundstrokes and the conditions suit both a lot. Muguruza’s on an eight-match winning streak but don’t forget Konjuh has been reliable and consistent of late. Konjuh can make things difficult for Muguruza who can be inconsistent from time to time, but I feel that the edge is with the Spaniard who is playing such good tennis at the moment.