Garbine Muguruza vs Ashleigh Barty tips, predictions and live stream: Wimbledon champion Muguruza out for revenge on Barty in Toronto

Hannah Wilks in WTA 10 Aug 2017
  • World no. 4 Garbine Muguruza takes on Ashleigh Barty for a place in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup
  • Muguruza vs Barty Rogers Cup tennis is live from Toronto on Thursday at 8.30pm local/1.30am BST
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Toronto at bet365 > live streaming > tennis
Garbine Muguruza (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Garbine Muguruza is out to make a first Rogers Cup quarterfinal – and get revenge on Ashleigh Barty – as she faces the young Australian in the round of 16 in Toronto on Thursday.  

Muguruza vs Barty Rogers Cup tennis is live from Toronto on Thursday at 8.30pm local/1.30am BST . Watch and bet on tennis live from Toronto at bet365 > live streaming > tennis

World no. 4 Garbine Muguruza got her first ever win in Toronto on Wednesday – can the Wimbledon champion avenge her Birmingham defeat to Ashleigh Barty and reach the quarterfinals in Canada for the first time on Thursday?

Muguruza hasn’t made much of an impact on the Rogers Cup in the past, only playing it twice – in 2014, when she lost in the second round to Maria Sharapova in Montreal, and in 2015 when she lost her opening match to Lesia Tsurenko in Toronto. Back in Toronto two years later and now a two-time Grand Slam champion, Muguruza managed to avoid a similar early defeat as she took on crafty Belgian veteran Kirsten Flipkens, but it wasn’t all plain sailing – she led by a break twice in the first set but Flipkens came back each time, levelling the set at 5-5 before Muguruza took charge of the match for a 7-5, 6-2 win.
‘I felt that I had a lot of opportunities during the [first] set and I felt like I didn't use them,’ Muguruza said afterwards. ‘I tried not to be very frustrated, tried played concentrated and kept thinking that I had another chance. I know that in every match, the first set is very important.  
‘When you have such a talented player with a different style [against you], you want to make sure that you don't lose concentration, are very focused, and just want to have everything under control ... I knew that if I continued to play like this, more [chances] would come. That made the difference.’

Given that Muguruza had reached just two semifinals – one in the very first week of the season at the Brisbane International, and one at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia the week before the French Open – before the grass-court season, she has to be pretty happy with how she’s played since then. Since losing to Kristina Mladenovic in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, an emotional defeat which nevertheless Muguruza experienced as some kind of relief from the pressure of trying to defend her maiden Slam title, the Spanish player is 12-3, having made the semifinals of the Aegon Classic, won the Wimbledon title and just last week made the semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, defeating Kayla Day and Ana Konjuh before losing to eventual champion Madison Keys. 

‘I think I always have ups and downs, and what keeps me concentrated is that I train hard, and come to a tournament ready to play,’ Muguruza mused on Wednesday. 
‘I'm concentrating a lot on working hard, not taking anything for granted. You have all these opponents that they just want to beat you, and they're playing well as well.’

Rogers Cup 2017 live stream: WTA tennis live from Toronto

One of the three players that has beaten Muguruza over the past six weeks or so, however, is the one who awaits her in the round of 16 in Toronto – rising Australian star Ashleigh Barty, who beat Muguruza in three sets in the semifinals of Birmingham two weeks before Wimbledon.

Ashleigh Barty (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Many are familiar with Barty’s story – the talented young Australian who was climbing the singles rankings and achieving great success in doubles with Casey Dellacqua as a teenager who quit tennis after the 2014 US Open, finding life on tour too hard and lonely and swapping a racquet for a cricket bat to play a season with the Brisbane Heat, before returning to her first love in 2016. But it really is remarkable how her comeback has gone. 

Playing just four events in 2016, Barty jumped from unranked to world no. 325 by the end of the year; she comes into the Rogers Cup ranked world no. 57. Hihglights of her year so far include making the third round of the Australian Open and then winning her first WTA Tour title in Kuala Lumpur as a qualifier; she went on to make the quarterfinals of the Internationaux de Strasbourg and the Aegon Open in Nottingham and then, in case anyone was going to say that her Kuala Lumpur was a fluke run against a weak field (the highest-ranked player she faced there was world no. 97 Irina Falconi), put together a remarkable run at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. Barty beat Biel champion Marketa Vondrousova, Barbora Strycova, Camila Giorgi and Muguruza and led Petra Kvitova by a set in the final before the two-time Wimbledon champion surged back to win in three. 

Reaching her first Premier-level final propelled Barty up to a career-high ranking of world no. 54 and many, including me, thought she might shock Elina Svitolina in the first round of Wimbledon – but although she frequently put herself in winning positions, a nervous, error-strewn performance by the Australian saw her defeated by the fourth seed 5-7, 6-7(8).

Barty took a well-earned break after Wimbledon and judging by her results so far in Toronto, it did her good. The Australian, still just 21, has put together a five-match run, beating Katherine Sebov, Madison Brengle and former Rogers Cup runner-up Sorana Cirstea to make it through qualifying and into the main draw. She benefited from a retirement from Oceane Dodin when the French player trailed 0-5, but made up for that break with a hard-fought win over Indian Wells champion Elena Vesnina, beating the sixteenth seed 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. 

Barty, in many ways, plays a little like Madison Keys – which isn’t good news for Muguruza, who lost to the American in Stanford, with raw power on serve and off the ground, and a much better line of net attack than Keys. Muguruza must be aggressive and get Barty on the run, and produce a great serving performance – and an otherwise disciplined performance off the ground – if she is to make her first ever Rogers Cup quarterfinal on Thursday. 

Muguruza vs Barty is scheduled on Centre Court in Toronto on Thursday at 8.30pm local/1.30am BST . Watch and bet on the match at bet365 > live streaming > Garbine Muguruza vs Ashleigh Barty

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Garbine Muguruza vs Ashleigh Barty tips, predictions and live stream: Wimbledon champion Muguruza out for revenge on Barty in Toronto

Garbine Muguruza lost to powerful young Australian Ashleigh Barty in Birmingham – can the world no. 4 get revenge and make the Rogers Cup quarterfinals to boot in Toronto on Thursday? Read our tips, predictions and stream the match live online.

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