Pan Pacific Open: Garbine Muguruza cruises

Second seed Pliskova sets up date with former world no.1 Kerber.

Tokyo: Newly-crowned world number one Garbine Muguruza pulverised Olympic champion Monica Puig 6-4, 6-0 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Pan Pacific Open.

Earlier, second seed Karolina Pliskova, who held the top ranking briefly over the summer, crushed Poland’s Magda Linette 6-2, 6-1 as the Czech set up a potential date with another former world number one, Angelique Kerber.

Wimbledon champion Muguruza recovered from an indifferent start to reach the last eight in Tokyo, the top seed catching fire after a trade of early breaks to rattle off the last seven games.

A booming serve down the middle sealed the first set for the Spaniard, who seemed intent on hitting the fur off the ball in her first match since reaching in the top of the women’s WTA rankings in the previous week.

Muguruza, who is chasing a third title for the year 2017, roared through the second, a murderous backhand pass which gave her a 3-0 lead to effectively kill off any hopes Puig had of mounting a comeback.

The Puerto Rican, the surprise gold medallist at last year’s Rio Olympics, fell apart thereafter as Muguruza continued to torment her, bringing the match to a close with an ace after an hour and 14 minutes.

Pliskova likewise tore through her second-round match, the world number four taking exactly an hour to see off Linette.

A ferocious forehand gave the Czech an early break in the first set, which she pocketed thanks to a clinical cross-court backhand.

The second set too was almost a carbon copy as Pliskova again raced to a dominant 3-0 lead before a thunderous backhand pass that brought a double break.

Next Story