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Tuesday, 11 July 2017 14:58 PM BST
Muguruza powers into semi-finals
Spanish No.14 seed too strong for Kuznetsova in 6-3, 6-4 win READ MORE

Garbiñe Muguruza is back in the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second time after a rock-solid performance against Svetlana Kuznetsova, ousting the No.7 seed 6-3, 6-4.

Last year’s French Open champion will face world No.87 Magdalena Rybarikova for a place in her third Grand Slam final, having lost her first major final to Serena Williams at The Championships in 2015.

“A lot of things have to click to be able to win a major,” said Muguruza. “I'm feeling pretty good: I'm being aggressive and not doing a lot of errors that maybe I could do sometimes, being physically good as well, with all the matches.

“I felt very good when I won the major,” she added when asked about her title prospects. “I think I'm on a similar path – let's say like that.”

A decade had passed since Kuznetsova’s last quarter-final appearance at Wimbledon, but as in 2003, 2005 and 2007 the Russian’s run ended in the last eight. A loose service game at 1-2 cost the No.7 seed the opening set, despite edging Muguruza in the winner count, unforced error count and even the break point count, as two chances to hit back came and went.

“I just lost a silly break, quite a fast one,” Kuznetsova explained. “Then it was again everything even. But these small moments, small chances really matter a lot. I think Garbiñe recovered very good today. She defended very good.”

Away from the stat sheet, Muguruza picked up where she left off in ousting No.1 seed Angelique Kerber. The 2015 finalist can pin her opponents back with skidding drives that relentlessly pepper the baseline, and while Kuznetsova produced some fine winners of her own, it was the No.14 seed who came out on top more often than not.

Finding no joy fighting fire with fire, Kuznetsova mixed up her game to ask fresh questions of the Spaniard in the second set, with some canny touch and frequent forays to the net, only to see a chance to break for a 2-0 love lead come and go.

Before I was more emotional. I was showing more emotions on the court. Now I'm trying to handle it better

- Garbiñe Muguruza

Instead it was Muguruza who clinched her chance, breaking for a 3-2 lead that proved decisive, before wrapping up the win in one hour, 15 minutes, fending off the Russian’s efforts to get back on terms in impressive fashion.

“I think just knowing how to deal with these important matches – that's the toughest part,” Muguruza said. "Knowing that you got there, you're playing quarter-finals of Wimbledon, that it’s the match you want to go and play and win.

“It's also a combination of not being too anxious, not being too nervous, try to free your mind, just try to concentrate on the tennis part, not about everything else. Before I was more emotional. I was showing more emotions on the court. Now I'm trying to handle it better.”

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