Garbine Muguruza’s opener against Dominika Cibulkova in the second round of the Miami Open was a highly tense affair, as the Spaniard lost a close first set and found herself trailing 3-0 in the decider.
Lasting 63 minutes, the first set was a grueling fight full of ups and downs of both players, eventually decided in a tiebreak. Midway through the set, Cibulkova went from 3-4 to 5-4, but Muguruza again took charge and at 6-5 served for the set. Cibulkova then recorded another break, leveled to 6-6 and prevailed in the tiebreak.
After two holds at the beginning of the second set, Cibulkova earned a break point in the third game, but failed to convert it and it turned out to be the Slovak’s one and only break point chance in the set which Muguruza relatively comfortably won, predominantly deciding it with a break that climbed her to a 4-2 lead.
The third set was undecided until the very end. Cibulkova opened with a 3-0 lead, then Muguruza won three straight games, and when the score was tied a 5-all, Muguruza pushed one more time to break Cibulkova’s serve and hold her own.
Overall, it was a very tough battle in which just a slight advantage in quality handed Muguruza a 6-7(3) 6-3 7-5 victory. The Spaniard’s third-round opponent will be wildcard Nicole Gibbs, who earned her second Top 30 win of the season by ousting 29th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic 6-2 6-4.
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