Belfast Telegraph

Slick Muguruza eases into the last four at Wimbledon


By Tom Allnutt

Garbine Muguruza moved one step closer to winning her second Grand Slam title by beating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Muguruza was a runner-up at the All England Club in 2015, but looks primed to go one better this year after easing past the experienced Kuznetsova 6-3 6-4.

Kuznetsova enjoyed strong starts in both sets but failed to capitalise, and it was Muguruza's superior serving and movement that proved decisive.

"I played good. I was clear about what I had to do, we have played a lot together. I was just trying to go for it, play my game," Muguruza said. "Reaching the final in 2015 seems far away. I am a different player, more calm now. There have been big changes in me.

"I'm so happy to be back at the place where I had my breakthrough."

Meanwhile, Czech Karolina Pliskova rose to the top of the WTA rankings without striking a ball yesterday as results at Wimbledon saw her overhaul Germany's Angelique Kerber.

By a quirk of the points-based ranking system, the 25-year-old rose to the summit - the 23rd player to do so - thanks to Simona Halep's quarter-final loss to Johanna Konta.

Pliskova, seeded three at Wimbledon, lost in the second round to Magdalena Rybarikova, but her consistent results this year, including reaching the French Open semi-finals, means she will be number one when the rankings are updated on Monday.

Despite never having won a Grand Slam tournament, the Monte Carlo-based player becomes the first Czech to be number one since the rankings were introduced in 1975.

Czech-born Martina Navratilova, who won 18 singles majors, became number one in 1978 but was representing the USA by then.

"Karolina is an exemplary athlete on and off the court and she truly deserves this fantastic moment in her career," WTA CEO and chairman Steve Simon said.

Belfast Telegraph

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