Muguruza dumped out in Shenzhen Open semifinals

Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza crashed out of the Shenzhen Open semifinals on Friday with a straight-sets loss to Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza crashed out of the Shenzhen Open semifinals on Friday with a straight-sets loss to Ekaterina Alexandrova.

SHANGHAI — Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza crashed out of the Shenzhen Open semifinals on Friday with a straight-sets loss to Ekaterina Alexandrova.

The Russian fifth seed won 6-4, 6-3 to set up a final with seventh seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan.

Spain's Muguruza, 26, had a poor run last year but showed signs in southern China of rediscovering the form that made her world No. 1 in 2017.

However, with the Australian Open looming large, the sixth seed was comfortably beaten by the 25-year-old Alexandrova in 77 minutes.

The powerful Russian is now just one victory away from her first WTA title.

"It was a tough match right from the start," said Alexandrova.

"I was calmer than yesterday and that helped a lot."

The 20-year-old Rybakina, who is chasing a second career title, booked her spot in the final with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over the unseeded Czech Kristyna Pliskova. — AFP