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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday March 9, 2021

 
Garbiñe Muguruza

Iga Swiatek and Garbiñe Muguruza will meet for the first time in a dreamy matchup between two of the WTA's in-form players.

Photo Source: Qatar Total Open

The rise of Iga Swiatek has been so swift that there are still many top players that have yet to face the 19-year-old Pole. The World No.15 has barely played 50 matches at tour-level and she’s making her tournament debut in Dubai.

Tennis Express

We still don’t know how Swiatek’s game will match up against the forces of the game—she only has five matches against Top-10-ranked players in her career—but tennis fans will get to put a piece of the puzzle together on Wednesday when she squares off against two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza for the first time (Muguruza is currently ranked 16, but it's clear that she's been playing Top 5 tennis for a while).

It is something that Swiatek is very much looking forward to.

“Muguruza is right now one of the best players on tour and she’s in good shape, so of course it’s going to be hard,” she said. “I said in an interview I think during Australian Open that I would like to play against her just to see how my game would work. I’m just going to treat it just like a new experience, it’s not going to be something bad if I lose, because it’s Muguruza, so I’m just going to try to play my best and enjoy being on court basically.”


Muguruza, who improved to 14-4 with her victory over Amanda Anisimova on Tuesday, knows she’ll have her hands full with the player that became the youngest Roland-Garros women’s singles champion since 1992 last season.

"I think she played great last year, she won French Open, so she had a big breakthrough, never easy to go out there and win a Grand Slam so, I guess I'm playing tomorrow a very good player, and looking forward for that."

Fiery Gauff joins the mix

Swiatek may be young at 19, but she isn’t the youngest player remaining in the draw. Those honors belong to Coco Gauff, the 16-year-old (soon to be 17) who battled past Marketa Vondrousova in three sets today.

The American had a fiery battle with the Czech, and was able to wrestle control from her after dropping the first set. Tensions rose when Gauff asked the chair umpire about Vondrousova catching her own toss with her racquet. Apparently the Czech didn’t appreciate the attention and the intensity of the match grew from there, with Gauff and Vondrousova firing themselves up and the American aiming a few balls extremely close to Vondrousova.


Here’s how Gauff explained the interaction:

“It wasn't meant to make her upset, it was just meant to ask the question to the umpire if that's allowed, and he said yes, and then I left it at that,” Gauff said. “She was, I could tell, I guess, frustrated like that."

Gauff seemed to enjoy the intensity of the contest.

"I mean for sure, my personality, I fight fire with fire, yeah, I lost those two points that game and she had loud screams,” she said. “I like to scream so I screamed back."

The American has now won seven of nine three-setters in 2021, and will fade Tereza Martincova next.


 

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