Muguruza makes Monterrey SF with win over Tomljanovic

No.1 seed Garbiñe Muguruza's dominant run through the Abierto GNP Seguros draw continued unabated on Friday night, after the Spaniard's towering quarterfinal victory over No.8 seed Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia, 6-3, 6-0.
"I think I am improving here in Monterrey," Muguruza told the press after the match. "I made some good decisions today, some were okay, some were worse, but I always think I can play better."
Muguruza, the World No.3, has not yet dropped a set during the week, after a powerful opening-round win over Renata Zarazúa and an excellent second-round triumph over Alison Riske. The reigning Wimbledon champion kept her fine form rolling with a 59-minute victory over Tomljanovic.
Muguruza and Tomljanovic combined for a hard-hitting affair, but it was the top seed who emerged victorious in most of the rallies, outclassing the Australian in the winner count by 18 to four, including five aces. Tomljanovic was also undone by 12 unforced errors, two more than the Spaniard's total.
Despite the final scoreline in Muguruza's favor, it was actually Tomljanovic who got off to a hot start. The 24-year-old Australian broke Muguruza at love to open the match, and saved a break point in the next game to reach 2-0, giving the impression that the encounter would be a closely contested one.
"I think she played those first games very well," said Muguruza. "It was a little hard for me at the beginning, [but] as the [match] went on I started getting better and finding my game."
"I tried not to get scared -- when someone comes out and starts playing well, I have to stay calm," the third-ranked player in the world continued. "There’s no rush trying to turn the game around."
From that juncture forward, the match indeed turned heavily in Muguruza's favor. The Spaniard gathered herself on serve and began to dominate on return as well, posting a five-game winning streak to take a 5-2 lead in the opener.
Tomljanovic continued to battle, safely holding for 5-3 and forcing Muguruza to try to wrap up the set on her delivery. The No.1 seed fell behind 0-30 after consecutive backhand errors, but recovered her service prowess to blow through the next four points, sealing the set with an ace.
It was one-way traffic for Muguruza in the second set. A down-the-line service return for a winner gave the Spaniard a quick break to open the set, and a second break came her way in Tomljanovic's next service game, after the Australian double faulted while down break point.
Tomljanovic dropped serve at love with a forehand unforced error to fall behind 5-0, meaning the Australian won only one of 13 points on her serve in the second set. Muguruza kept her foot on the gas while serving for the match, hitting multiple powerful serves to quickly quash any hopes of a Tomljanovic comeback, and complete the second-set whitewash.
Former World No.1 Muguruza will now take on No.6 seed Ana Bogdan in the semifinals, after the Romanian dispatched fast-rising American Danielle Collins earlier on Friday night, 6-2, 6-4. Both players had many aces during this quarterfinal -- 12 for Bogdan and eight for Collins -- but Bogdan was clutch on serve, fending off all four break points against her in the match.
"I was very focused from the beginning, I really wanted to win the match," 90th-ranked Bogdan told the media, after the match. "Since I woke up this morning, I only had positive thoughts, and when I got on the court, I said ‘Give everything you have, like the best you have, and fight from the beginning to the end.’"
Meanwhile, 7th-seeded American Sachia Vickery, who defeated Muguruza at the BNP Paribas Open last month, upset No.2 seed and World No.17 Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, 6-0, 6-3, to advance to the semifinals.
Vickery will face 4th-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary, who dispatched No.5 seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, 6-4, 6-2. Babos is the only one of the semifinalists to have won a singles title so far in 2018, having claimed the Taiwan Open in February.