I just keep getting more and more impressed by the play of Spain’s Garbine Muguruza at Roland Garros 2016. Against 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, I thought Mugu would have her campaign ended in the 4th round. Oh thee…and by thee, I mean me…of little faith! 4th seed Gabi took out the 2-time Major winning 13th seed Sveta in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 to advance to her 3rd straight Roland Garros quarterfinal. In my mind, Mugu is a bit like Madison Keys, overflowing with talent and power but just has to control her weapons. Gabi committed 30 unforced errors in her match with Kuznetsova, but she had 37 winners. Taking chances will generate errors. That’s okay as long as they are offset by winners. It’s those matches where she has 21 winners and 37 unforced errors that derail her (and Keys). So if Mugu can keep up this steady play, she is going to a tough out for anybody.
Next up to try to stop the Muguruza Express will be American Shelby Rogers, who earlier in the tournament upset 2-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the 10th seed. She set a date with Garbine in the quarterfinals with a 6-3 6-4 triumph over Romania’s Irina-Camilia Begu, the 25th seed. The 108th ranked South Carolinian Rogers is, for me, the feel good story of the women’s side (along with Kiki Bertens). If anybody told you before Roland Garros 2016 started that they had Shelby Rogers in the quarterfinals, they probably are also her family members. But nonetheless, here she is with the opportunity of her tennis life. My head tells me Muguruza wins this one. My heart hopes for something else. Here is a video of Shelby showing us around her native Charleston, site of the Volvo Car Open (previously the Family Circle Cup).
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SHELBY ROGERS d. 25 Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-3 6-4
4 GARBINE MUGURUZA d. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3 6-4