The renaissance of Garbine Muguruza continues as the Spaniard has reached the Australian Open final on the back of an excellent win over Simona Halep.
After winning Grand Slams in 2016 and 2017, the former world No 1 went through a slump in 2018 and 2019 and slipped outside the world top 20.
However, she has started the 2020 campaign with a run all the way to the final of the season-opening major at Melbourne Park.
The unseeded Muguruza held off the reigning Roland Garros champion to secure a 7-6 (10-8), 7-5 win on Rod Laver Arena.
Fourth seed Halep wasted two break points in game two and was made to pay for it as Muguruza broke in game seven to go 4-3 up, but the Romanian was back on level terms three games later.
The tie-breaker was a mixed affair as the Spaniard wasted two set points after being 6-4 up, but Halep hit back and fashioned two set points of her own only for the Muguruza to save it.
However, the 26-year-old finally won the set at the third time of asking.
Halep had the early advantage in the second set with a break in game three, but Muguruza hit back immediately only for the Romanian to edge ahead again with a second break.
The world No 3 found herself serving for the set at 5-4 only for Muguruza to break again and the Spaniard then held her serve before claiming the decisive break in game 12.
“Keep going and at some point you’ll have your opportunity” @GarbiMuguruza‘s mentality and attitude helped her battle through and book her place in the final in Melbourne 💪
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 30, 2020
“You start day by day, that’s what I was doing each match at a time,” Muguruza said. “Very excited to be in the final and I have one more match on Saturday.”
“I wasn’t thinking that I was down, I was thinking keep going and at some point you will have your opportunity. I knew I was facing Simona so it was going to be a hard match.
“I was just hanging in there and fighting with all the energy I had.
“Luckily I have 48 hours to recover now for the last match. We train all of our career to be able to play in this court and in front of this crowd.”
Kyle Edmund’s fine run sees him reach NY Open final.
Your dream pairings for Tokyo 2020’s mixed doubles event.
Your 2020 Dubai Tennis Championships draw…
It’s Felix vs Gael in Rotterdam final.
Kiki Bertens still on course to defend her title in Russia.
US hopeful still hurting.
Serb already ‘best in history’.
Croatian putting past behind him.
Swiss star still climbing rankings.