Garbine Muguruza came back from a set down and prevailed in a break-fest in the following two sets to defeat fellow two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
The ninth-seeded Muguruza didn’t manage to convert two break points in a marathon game at 1-1, then Azarenka converted her sole break point in the set to go 3-1 up and won five consecutive points to hold serve from a 0-40 deficit for a commanding 4-1 lead which she kept till the end of the 47-minute first set. As you can see, a huge disparity in break point conversion is what made the difference in this set: Azarenka’s 1/1 and Muguruza’s 0/5.
In topsy-turvy second and third sets, which featured more breaks of serve than holds, Azarenka had her chances, especially when she won three games in a row to go from 1-3 to 4-3 in the decider, but Muguruza was a tiny bit more consistent in the end, prevailing 3-6 6-3 6-4 on her third match point in two hours and twenty minutes.
Muguruza’s semifinal opponent will be top seed Simona Halep, who played just 48 minutes on Saturday afternoon as her quarterfinal opponent Yulia Putintseva retired with a lower back injury.