Muguruza marches on at Roland Garros

Updated: 

Defending champion Garbine Muguruza advanced to the fourth round of the French Open with a straight-sets victory over Yulia Putintseva.

Muguruza came through a tough second-round encounter with rising star Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday and was troubled by Putintseva in the first set before winning 7-5 6-2 on Friday.

The fourth seed was broken three times in a topsy-turvy first set, but got into her stride to overcome the feisty Kazakh on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Muguruza has been out of sorts since lifting the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen 12 months ago, but will face Shelby Rogers or Kristina Mladenovic in round four as she bids to retain her title in Paris.

Muguruza broke in the first game of the match by pouncing on a drop shot with a measured forehand, but squandered that advantage immediately.

A couple of stray Muguruza backhands put Putintseva a break up at 3-1 and the sprightly world number 29 won a brilliant rally with a sublime forehand in the next game, but failed to hold as the powerful Spaniard turned the tide.

Muguruza's heavy hitting and too many errors from her Russia-born opponent ensured the world number five opened up a 5-3 lead, but she was unable to serve out the set at the first time of asking.

That did not prove to be costly as Muguruza fizzed a backhand beyond an irritated Putintseva to break for a fourth time and edge ahead.

The diminutive Putintseva smashed her racket into the clay for a second time after firing a forehand wide before a crisp backhand enabled Muguruza to break in the opening game of the second set.

Putintseva, a French Open quarter-finalist last year, grew increasingly angry as Muguruza marched into a 3-0 lead, the reigning champion having plenty of joy with ferocious forehands.

There was hope for Putintseva when she broke and reduced the deficit to 3-2, but Muguruza was in no mood to hang around and won the next three games with more fierce strokes to go through.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Muguruza [4] bt Putintseva [27] 7-5 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Muguruza - 26/26
Putintseva - 14/21

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Muguruza - 2/2
Putintseva - 0/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Muguruza - 7/8
Putintseva - 4/10

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Muguruza - 66
Putintseva - 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Muguruza - 73/40
Putintseva - 49/35

TOTAL POINTS
Muguruza - 70
Putintseva - 52