Play resumed in Melbourne on Friday after a positive COVID-19 test related to the tennis at Melbourne Park caused Thursday’s matches to be suspended. Ashleigh Barty, Serena Williams, Marketa Vondrousova and Garbine Muguruza all progressed to the last four at the WTA Yarra Valley Classic. With the Australian Open just days away, Williams withdrew from her semifinal with Barty due to a right shoulder injury. Who will advance on Saturday to join Barty in the final?
WTA Yarra Valley Classic Semifinal Prediction
Marketa Vondrousova vs Garbine Muguruza
Head-to-head: First meeting
Sixth seed Muguruza has made serene progress to the semifinals, dropping just nine games in three straight-set wins. She defeated Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round. The world #15 was then particularly impressive in dispatching second seed Sofia Kenin 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. In a rematch of the 2020 Australian Open final, Muguruza made 27 winners and 10 aces to just 11 unforced errors. It continues a positive start to 2021 for the 27-year-old Spaniard after she earned two wins in reaching the third round in Abu Dhabi last month.
Vondrousova has had a tougher route, though it started with a 6-4, 6-0 second round win against Varvara Gracheva. The eighth-seeded Czech then came through in three tight sets against Vera Zvonareva, after trailing by a break and 3-4 in the final set. In the quarterfinals, the world #21 recovered from a set down to beat Nadia Podoroska 10-4 in a third set match tiebreak – a change introduced by the WTA for the conclusion of the Melbourne warm-up events after the suspension of play on Thursday. The 21-year-old started her year with a first round defeat to Hsieh Su-Wei in Abu Dhabi.
At her best, Vondrousova possesses the variety to disrupt Muguruza’s brutal baseline game. Muguruza’s 19-15 career record (55.9%) against left-handed players is considerably worse than her 64.6% ratio against right handed opponents. This could be another reason for optimism for Vondrousova. However, while it could be competitive, it is still hard to see the two-time Grand Slam champion being stopped when in the type of form that took her to those titles.
Prediction: Muguruza in 3
Main Photo from Getty.