Two players looking to make their mark at Roland Garros 2016 won the first of a necessary seven matches needed to claim Major glory. #4 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain (via Venezuela) overcame 53 unforced errors in 27 games to finally put away Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia, 3-6 6-3 6-3. Muguruza has all of the talent that makes a champion and I love her aggressive play, but averaging 2 unforced errors per game will not be acceptable moving forward. Eventually, someone will make her pay for spraying so many shots, even if she also comes up with 44 winners as she did on this day. It feels like the 22-year old Mugu is on the verge of something really big. We’ll see if it comes on the terre battue this year.
Romania’s Simona Halep had an easy go of it against Japan’s Nao Hibino, 6-2 6-0. The 6th seed Halep won six of the seven matches necessary to claim Roland Garros 2014, losing an epic final against Maria Sharapova, who isn’t in the field this year due to her meldonium suspension. There isn’t really much to extrapolate from this match going forward for Halepeno. With all due respect to the up and coming 21-year old Nao Hibino, at this stage she has nothing to bother Simona. It would take an off day from recent Madrid champion Halep to give Hibino a chance. Maybe a year or two down the line with more experience Hibino might have something for Halep. Not now.
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4 GARBINE MUGURUZA d. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, 3-6 6-3 6-3
6 SIMONA HALEP d. Nao Hibino, 6-2 6-0