Garbine Muguruza won her first title of 2018 with a hard-fought victory in the Monterrey final over Timea Babos.
Muguruza, the top seed, held off the Hungarian 3-6 6-4 6-3 in a match spanning two hours and 20 minutes.
The Spaniard, a two-time major champion, was by far the most credentialled player in the field, which contained just four players ranked inside the top 50.
She powered through to the final without dropping a set all week, yet encountered huge resistance when she lined up against Babos.
— WTA (@WTA) April 9, 2018
“(It was) such a good match. We’re going to meet next week probably, next tournament, so cheer up,” Muguruza said to Babos during the trophy presentation, before addressing coach Sam Sumyk and the rest of her entourage: “To my team, we fought hard, but we deserve the trophy too, so thank you for supporting me here.”
Muguruza improved her win-loss record in 2018 to 13-6 and her record in finals to 6-4 thanks to the victory, during which her solid serving and superior returning proved the decisive factor.
In a final pitting two powerful, aggressive players against one another, it was the No.4 seed Babos who finished with more winners (30 to 22) and aces (9 to 3).
But in a tight third set, Muguruza powered a crosscourt backhand passing shot winner to break for a 4-2 lead, and held firm on serve for the rest of the match to maintain her advantage.
She finished the match having won 100 points to Babos’ 98.
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