Halep, Muguruza Line-Up Cincinnati Final with No. 1 on the Line
by Jeremy Davis | August 19th, 2017, 7:15 pm
  • 10 Comments

Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza will contest the Western & Southern final after comprehensive semifinal wins on Saturday in Cincinnati.


The No. 2-seeded Halep dismissed wild card Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-1, improving to 5-2 career against the American.

Halep won the final six games to close out the match against Stephens, who was also a semifinalist the previous week in Toronto after returning from foot surgery. It is Halep’s second time in the Cincinnati final after losing to Serena Williams in 2015.

If Halep beats Muguruza in the final she will ascend to the No. 1 ranking for the first time.

“I just want to go tomorrow and play my game,” Halep said, repeating perhaps the most overused statement in women’s tennis. “If it’s going to happen, great, but if not I will have more opportunities. Hopefully I can do it. I have the desire.”

It will be her third opportunity this year to take the No. 1 ranking for the first time in her career.

“Maybe tomorrow is my turn,” Halep said, providing more filler. “I have to give my best and fight and if I win it’s going to be really special. It’s a great opportunity. But for sure it’s going to be a tough match against a Grand Slam champion.”

The Spaniard Muguruza on Saturday easily put out current No. 1 Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-2.

“To beat the player that is now No. 1, it’s very good match always,” Muguruza said. “I felt pretty good out there and in control. Everything was going my way.”

Pliskova was the defending champion, and Muguruza will be appearing in her first Cincinnati final.

“Today I think I was very precise with my shots,” said Muguruza, who broke in the first game of the match to set the tone. “I wanted just to be more aggressive, trying to take my shots, and not think a lot about her, because I know she played very aggressive, as well. I’m working hard on trying to face these aggressive opponents, so today I felt a little bit better.”

Pliskova, on the other hand, did not.

“I don’t think I played my best tennis today,” the Czech said. “I think the energy was pretty low from my side today. Obviously, it was a tough schedule for me last two days — three matches in about not even 24 hours.”

Muguruza leads the head-to-head with Halep 2-1, though the two players haven’t faced each other in more than two years.


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10 Comments for Halep, Muguruza Line-Up Cincinnati Final with No. 1 on the Line

Margot Says:

Lol AM…now you’re looking down on me, you cheeky moo! Well done BTW! Like them both very much, don’t mind who wins.


AndyMira Says:

M!…hehehehe…Yeah!..atm i am looking down at u…but there’s a possibility too that you’re going kick my backside tonight M!Ohohohohoho!!…Run for cover!!!.,..Woohoo!!


jalep Says:

Margot, great picks this week. Congratulations!

I feel awful for Simona — it was such a demolition.


jalep Says:

Muguruza in full control.

Simona could have done better. A slow start and just not on top of the match like she was most of the week.

Sorry MA. But Simona took it well. She actually looked happy as the runner-up.

The question is: Do we pick Garbine for US Open too?


Willow Says:

Hi Jalep, well she might do what Kerber did, the only active player to win two GS in a year apart from Serena ….


t4t Says:

After Muguruza’s Wimbledon victory, I felt she had finally arrived and had said so in these columns. She is definitely one of the favorites for the US Open.


jalep Says:

Thanks for your reply, Willow.

She might. In fact, I don’t see anyone stronger or more confident than Garbine right now. Keys did beat her in Stanford. Svitolina did beat her in Toronto.

Mugu is in the groove. Svitolina would be my second pick — and she will have had more time before US Open…

See you on FB when I get it worked out!


Willow Says:

Jalep oh boy, that was some beat down Garbine put down on Simona, 1 an 0, certainly didnt expect that, and yeah i love chatting with you on FB too, so far no more messages or e.mails from a certain someone ;-)


AndyMira Says:

Yeah j!…Very agree with t4t…Mugu certainly one of the favourites to win USO…Along with Svitolina,Venus,Konta maybe?


Margot Says:

Good to see you jalep, and thanks for congrats. Lol sometimes I surprise even myself…;)

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