January 29, 2020 / 3:26 AM / a month ago

Tennis-Muguruza downs Pavlyuchenkova to reach Australian Open semis

MELBOURNE, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Garbine Muguruza stormed back into the Grand Slam big time with a 7-5 6-3 win over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to reach her first Australian Open semi-final on Wednesday.

The twice Grand Slam champion will meet former finalist Simona Halep on Thursday for a place in Saturday’s final after producing her most complete performance at Melbourne Park this year on a sunbathed Rod Laver Arena.

In a match of grunting baseline pounders, Spaniard Muguruza broke the 30th seeded Russian twice in the second set and charged to the finish in a hailstorm of winners.

Pavlyuchenkova saved a match point with a thumping backhand but was powerless to deal with the second as Muguruza sealed the match with a deft drop-volley. (Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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