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By Erik Gudris | Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Muguruza Second Round US Open 2016

No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza found herself exiting another major early again. This time at the hands of Anastasija Sevastova at the US Open.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Another Grand Slam means another early round exit for French Open champion Garbine Muguruza. This time at the US Open in yet another suprise loss.

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For Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova though, it was an opportunity to relish her biggest career win on the sport’s biggest stage - Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I was shaking a little bit in the end. It’s amazing. On Ashe. In night match. What’s going to be bigger?” the Latvian said right after her big win.

The second round encounter for the No. 3 seed Muguruza looked to be in her control early in the match. That was despite an error-filled first set from both players.

Muguruza, who led by an early break, found herself level again with Sevastova at 4-all. Muguruza broke Sevastova again and served for the set at 5-4.

Yet Muguruza couldn’t close it out. The World No. 48 Sevastova broke back for 5-all and by now both players had struck a combined 35 unforced errors. The set eventually went in favor of the Latvian 7-5 after Muguruza failed to serve herself into a tiebreak.

Sevastova cut down on her own errors in the second set. Muguruza did not, and because of it, quickly fell behind 3-0. As Murugurza’s errors grew, Sevastova found herself closer to closing out the biggest win of her career.

But it wasn’t that simple for Sevastova who served for the match up 5-1.

Nerves crept into the Latvian’s game at the wrong time as she held two match points. Bad errors from Sevastova allowed Mugurza to break serve and keep her hopes alive at 5-2.

Muguruza starting playing somewhat better and that allowed her to get back on serve at 5-4. Yet, errors down the stretch from Muguruza didn’t help her cause in the final game as she served to level the set.

Muguruza missed a forehand and then two backhands. That gave Sevastova 0-40 and more match points. On her fourth match point, Sevastova hit a forehand just out of Muguruza’s reach. With that, Sevastova celebrated the 7-5, 6-4 upset win.

“I had to solve my head. My self. My thoughts. What could be. What could not,” Sevastova said to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi about the final games.

This is now the second early round loss for Muguruza at a major in a row for her. She lost in the second round of Wimbledon to Jana Cepelova. Muguruza afterwards tried to explain what went wrong.

“Well, I think, first of all, I'm not playing my best level. It's very rare also when you play your best. I'm just trying to look, What else can I do, how to work more the match, how to find more resources. I think today was just very difficult. Everything I was trying to do she was coming back and doing incredible shots. She was moving very well also. Tough today.”

The victory was especially sweet for Sevastova who retired from the sport three years ago due to injuries.

“I mean I think this one,” Sevastova said when asked what brought her back to the game. “This stage. Playing Grand Slams. Being on the biggest stage. It cannot get bigger.”

Sevastova will next face Kateryna Bondarenko in the third round.


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