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Tennis: Muguruza moves to No. 4 after China Open success

Garbine Muguruza won her biggest title yet at the China Open. Photo: AFP.

Garbine Muguruza won her biggest title yet at the China Open. Photo: AFP.

October 12, 2015: Garbine Muguruza battled past Timea Bacsinszky to win the biggest title of her career at the Premier Mandatory-level China Open on Sunday, and when the new WTA Rankings are released on Monday, the WTA Rising Star will rise to No. 4 in the world – and just one point from No. 3.

 

Bacsinszky was having arguably the best tournament of her career. Having come in off of four straight opening-round losses at Toronto, Cincinnati, New Haven and the US Open, she caught fire in a big way in the Chinese capital, upsetting top-eight seeds Carla Suarez Navarro and Ana Ivanovic along the way.

 

She came out firing in the final, storming out to an early 5-2 lead, but the fifth-seeded Muguruza has been on fire herself this week. The Spaniard won five games in a row to take the first set, then came back from 2-0 down in the second set to close the No.12-seeded Swiss out in straights, 7-5, 6-4.

 

By virtue of winning the Premier Mandatory title, the second and by far biggest WTA title of her career, Muguruza will now rise from No. 5 to No. 4 on the WTA Rankings, a new career-high. She’ll also be just one ranking point away from the points total of No. 3 Maria Sharapova.

 

Muguruza, who just turned 22 a few days ago, is also the youngest player to win a title at this level or higher since a 21-year-old Petra Kvitova captured the WTA Finals crown in Istanbul in 2011.

 

Speaking of which, Muguruza had already secured her spot in the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global earlier in the week, joining Sharapova and Simona Halep in the elite field.

 

Bacsinszky won’t leave empty-handed by any means – not only was this by far the biggest final of her career, but she’ll also break the Top 10 for the first time now. She gave an emotional on-court speech.

 

“I actually want to dedicate this tournament to someone. I came from really, really far away, I almost retired two years ago, and this man over there, my coach, Dimitri, thank you for helping me every day. You brought Stanislas to top 10 and now you’ve brought me to top 10. Thank you for every day.”

 

Muguruza took the microphone after Bacsinszky and only had good words for her Swiss opponent.

 

“I want to congratulate Timea of course – top 10 is an amazing achievement,” the champion said. “For me, to be able to come and win the tournament after losing in the final of Wuhan last week is a great achievement. It’s amazing, and I can’t wait to come back and defend my title next year.”

 

Source: WTA (www.wtatennis.com); Editing by SportAsia

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