Garbine Muguruza wins 2014 Hobart International title

Spanish qualifier Garbine Muguruza is the 2014 Hobart International singles champion. The 20 year-old won her first career WTA title with a 6-4 6-0 win against Czech seventh seed Klara Zakopalova today.
11 January 2014, by AAP

Spanish qualifier Garbine Muguruza is the 2014 Hobart International singles champion.

Muguruza won her maiden WTA title, thrashing Czech seventh seed Klara Zakopalova 6-4 6-0 in the final of the Hobart International today.

The rising star had too much power for her veteran opponent, blowing her away with her groundstrokes on Saturday to become the second qualifier to win Hobart in three tournaments.

The 20-year-old Ana Ivanovic-lookalike joins Germany’s Mona Barthel, who won in 2012, as the only qualifiers to win the tournament.

Six-foot Muguruza, the world No.58 but tipped for big things, knocked second seed and Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens out on the way to her first WTA final.

The Venezuelan-born right-hander didn’t drop a set from the qualifiers to the final as she tuned up for a first-round meeting with Estonian 24th seed Kaia Kanepi at the Australian Open.

She swept aside compatriot Estrella Cabeza Candela 6-0 6-1 in the semi-finals to set up her meeting with 31-year-old Zakopalova.

The Czech had beaten top seed Sam Stosur 6-3 6-2 in the semi-finals and will meet the Australian again in round one of the Australian Open.

The pair traded breaks in the first before Muguruza’s power rose to the fore.

Leading 5-4, she grabbed the crucial break in the 10th game when Zakopalova netted on Muguruza’s first set point.

The Czech’s game looked to be falling apart when she lost her opening service game in the second and the writing was on the wall when Muguruza broke again to lead 4-0.

Zakopalova saved two match points in her final service game but double-faulted on the third to hand the title to the Spaniard in a final lasting an hour and 10 minutes.

It was just Muguruza’s second tournament in a comeback from an ankle injury, adding to the remarkable way she won the title.

“I didn’t expect to win a lot of matches in the second tournament of the year but I just know that I’d worked so hard before,” she said.

“I was like a big bull. At home I was like, if I go to the tournament I’m going to fight so much. So that’s what I did.”