Garbine Muguruza in action in Dubai
Garbine Muguruza in action in Dubai Image Credit: DDFTC

Dubai: Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza held off a solid challenge from qualifier Irina-Camelia Begu on Monday to win 6-3, 7-5 and move into the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Muguruza, who reached the Dubai semi-finals in 2015 and 2018, has earned more wins than any other player on the WTA Tour this year, and she arrived in Dubai after competing in the Doha final where she fell to Petra Kvitova.

Although she was unable to dominate her enterprising opponent, the number nine seed was not threatened until late in the second set, when Begu established a lead and served for the set at 5-3. Muguruza though fought back to claim the next four games and a place in the next round.

“It was definitely a challenge because it’s very different conditions (from Doha),” said Muguruza. “I’m just happy that I fought as much as I could and I could close the match in two sets. I’m happy that I made it and feel like I’m getting into the tournament.”

“It is never easy to begin another tournament so soon after competing in the final of another, but Garbine Muguruza impressed us with the way she adapted and dealt with a difficult opponent,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “This is her seventh appearance here and it is a pleasure to welcome her back.”