Garbine Muguruza stormed into the final of the Dubai Open with a straight sets win over Belgium’s Elise Mertens in Friday. You want evidence she is at the peak of her powers, watch her serving 3-1(30-0). She finished off the point with a difficult skill. A forehand smash whilst advancing toward the net. To her credit,Mertens had a right old go at it with Garbine serving for the set. In fact in the whole match she saved 6 of the 13 break points she faced. Watch the fight in her at 5-3(deuce adv Muguruza). She did get the break back deservedly in that same game and she gave it right back in the next. Garbine punishing a short serve at set point 30-40 with an emphatic back hand down the line. Point of the match happened in the first game of the second set. Garbine serving at game point on deuce,the rally was more or less 50/50 then Mertens produced a brave back hand down the line which landed just inside it. Elise is a brave player. She attempts the almost impossible shot at shockingly surprising moments. Watch the audacious drop shot to set up the lob to save another break point at 1-0(30-40). Although Garbine should have gave Elise the eyes and wrong footed her after getting to the ball after the drop shot.
There was a heart in mouth moment with Muguruza serving at3-3 up 40-15. Garbine leaving no room for error there with that forehand cross court winner.She would break Elise to love next game. That fighting spirit from the Belgian on show again in the game after that. With her back to the wall down match point on deuce, a kneeling forehand won her the rally with Garbine scrambling for most of it. She got back the break and the match went on serve until the tie break. That is the one criticism of Muguruza’s game, her inability to close out sure wins under pressure. She eventually won the match 7-5 in the breaker. She had to pull out the one weapon in her arsenal that has got her this far. The back hand down the line.