Since she broke through with her first singles title at the 2014 Hobart International, I’ve had a keen eye on how Garbine Muguruza would progress as an up and coming player. She has far exceeded what I thought she would do through this point. She upset defending champion Serena Williams at Roland Garros 2014. She was runner-up at Wimbledon 2015. She has reached four singles finals since Hobart 2014 and now has cashed in her second career singles title at the 2015 China Open. The 22-year old Muguruza defeated another player who has had a fantastic 2015 season, Timea Bacsinszky. With her 7-5 6-4 championship match win in Beijing, Garbine will rise to #4 in the WTA singles rankings. What makes the win even sweeter is how she fought back from 2-5 down in the first set and a break down in the second set to still win in straights. Among other young rising stars like Eugenie Bouchard, Sloane Stephens, Karolina Pliskova and my current favorite player, Madison Keys, it seems like Garbine is beginning to set herself apart from the rest. However, keep in mind that Genie is only 21 and Maddie is a mere 20. Give them a season or two and we could have quite a competitive group of young players carrying the sport into the future.
5 GARBINE MUGURUZA (won 7-5 6-4 vs 12 Timea Bacsinszky)