The previous three encounters of Garbine Muguruza and Daria Kasatkina were all three-setters, two of which featured escapes from match point down, and their today’s match-up in the first round of the Qatar Total Open was another rollercoaster in which the Spaniard prevailed after wasting a 5-2 lead and one match point in the second set.
The eleventh-seeded Muguruza opened the match with a 2-0 lead and was a point away from 3-2, but the former world No.10 Kasatkina responded with a double break to earn the 3-2 lead herself. The two-time Grand Slam champion Muguruza then won a series of points to quickly go 5-3 up and even though Kasatkina leveled to 5-5, it was the Spaniard who victoriously closed out the set.
In the second set, Kasatkina recovered from a 5-2 deficit and later survived a match point when Muguruza made her fourth double fault of the day, eventually working her way to the third set, which featured seven straight breaks of serve before the world No.16 prevailed 7-5 5-7 6-3 in two hours and 49 minutes.
The 2020 Australian Open runner-up Muguruza has won 14 matches this year, the second-most on tour behind Elena Rybakina’s 19, while today’s triumph is her 250th main-draw victory.