Garbiñe Muguruza fell short in her bid to become the first Spanish woman to win the Madrid Open tennis tournament, losing 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in a third-round match here.
Kasatkina was rock solid from the baseline on Wednesday night and showcased some outstanding defensive skills against Muguruza, who showed plenty of heart but ending up committing far too many unforced errors over the course of the two hour, 28 minute match, reports EFE news agency.
Muguruza fell behind 6-2, 4-2 after Kasatkina won a rare net exchange with a forehand volley winner, but the two-time Grand Slam champion then produced her best tennis of the match to reel off four straight games and even the contest at a set apiece.
The Russian, however, used her heavy topspin forehand to seize control of the match once again, grabbing a 4-1 lead in the third set and nearly breaking Muguruza’s serve for a 5-1 advantage.
The third-seeded Spaniard refused to go down without a fight though, staving off eight break points in winning that 28-point, 19-minute sixth game and then breaking Kasatkina to make the score 4-3.
But the No. 14 seed maintained her composure and used her superior consistency to wrap up the match two games later, letting out a scream of triumph when one last Muguruza return of serve sailed over the baseline.
Next up for Kasatkina in Thursday’s quarter-finals will be another two-time Grand Slam champion, the Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova, who rallied to defeat Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-3 in the round of 16.