Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza crushed Marketa Vondrousova for the loss of just one game Saturday to set up a Yarra Valley Classic final with world No 1 Ashleigh Barty.
Last year’s Australian Open finalist Muguruza smashed 20 winners and broke the 21st-ranked Vondrousova’s serve five times en route to a 6-1, 6-0 win in 53 minutes.
“I’m very happy to get through. It’s good to play the top players and I’m expecting another tough battle against the world number one,” said the Spaniard.
Muguruza has shown the form that put her top of the rankings in 2017, dropping just 10 games in four matches so far including her quarter-final thrashing of America’s Sofia Kenin – her conqueror in last year’s Australian Open final.
She will next play Barty, who reached the decider with a walkover after Serena Williams pulled out due to a shoulder injury.
Elise Mertens of Belgium will play Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in the final of the Gippsland Trophy after world number three Naomi Osaka withdrew with a shoulder injury.
Kanepi beat Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3, 7-6 to reach her first WTA final since 2013.
Meanwhile, 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Grampians Trophy by Maria Sakkari.
Greece’s Sakkari will next play Estonia’s Annett Kontaveit who progressed after two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka withdrew due to injury.
World number 24 Jennifer Brady beat Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets and will play Ann Li in the other semi-final after the American easily downed Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.
Both semis and the final at the Grampians Trophy will be played Sunday, organised for players who had to undergo hard quarantine after Covid-19 cases were detected on the planes that brought them to Australia.
Yarra Valley Classic
Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) bt Serena Williams (USA x5) walkover
Garbine Muguruza (ESP x6) bt Marketa Vondrousova (CZE x8) 6-1, 6-0
Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS x9) 6-3, 7-6 (8/6)
Elise Mertens (BEL x7) bt Naomi Osaka (JPN x2) walkover
Maria Sakkari (GRE x5) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x8) 6-4, 6-2
Anett Kontaveit (EST x6) bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR x3) walkover
Jennifer Brady (USA x7) bt Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Ann Li (USA) bt Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 6-3, 6-1
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