Garbine Muguruza has shown the form that put her top of the rankings in 2017.© AFP
Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza set up a Yarra Valley Classic final with world number one Ashleigh Barty on Saturday, as another Australian Open warm-up tournament was cut short due to lack of time. Muguruza, last year’s Australian Open runner-up, smashed 20 winners and broke 21st-ranked Marketa Vondrousova’s serve five times en route to a 6-1, 6-0 win in 53 minutes. “I’m very happy to get through. It’s good to play the top players and I’m expecting another tough battle against the world number one,” said the Spaniard.
The Yarra Valley Classic is one of three women’s tournaments — along with three men’s events — at Melbourne Park this week as players, after emerging from quarantine, tune up for the Australian Open Grand Slam which starts on Monday.
But after Thursday’s play was lost over the emergence of a coronavirus case, the schedule became too tight to complete the WTA Grampians Trophy, which will now stop after the semi-finals.
Greece’s Maria Sakkari will play Estonia’s Annett Kontaveit and world number 24 Jennifer Brady, will face fellow American Ann Li in the truncated tournament’s semis.
In the Yarra Valley Classic, Muguruza has shown the form that put her top of the rankings in 2017, dropping just 10 games in four matches so far including her quarter-final thrashing of America’s Sofia Kenin — her conqueror in last year’s Australian Open final.
She will next play Barty, who reached the decider with a walkover after Serena Williams pulled out due to a shoulder injury.
Elsewhere Elise Mertens of Belgium will play Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in the final of the Gippsland Trophy, after world number three Naomi Osaka withdrew with a shoulder injury.
Kanepi beat Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3, 7-6 to reach her first WTA final since 2013.
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