Garbine Muguruza shrug

Garbine Muguruza reaches Chicago final after only playing twice

Former world number one Garbine Muguruza has benefitted from some great fortune in her draw at the inaugural WTA 500 event.

The Spanish world number nine is into her fourth final of 2021 after being handed a second walkover of her week at the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic.

As the second seed, Muguruza received a bye to the second round to start her event campaign.

After ousting world number 71 Ann Li in straight sets, 14th seed Victoria Azarenka withdrew prior to facing Muguruza.

Muguruza then faced 200th ranked qualifier Mai Hontama of Japan in the quarter-finals, again winning in straight sets.

What was set to be a clash between the Spaniard and Olympic silver medallist Marketa Vondrousova in the semi-finals never came to pass, as the Czech withdrew just like Azarenka.

So, Muguruza is into a WTA 500 final having played just four sets and surrendered 13 games.

In the final the 27-year-old will face either fifth seed Elena Rybakina or sixth seed Ons Jabeur for a shot at her second title of the season.

Should Muguruza claim the title, she would overtake Elina Svitolina to claim the world number six spot. As it stands, the two-time Slam champion has already surpassed world number eight Sofia Kenin in the rankings thanks to her results in Chicago.

On the men’s tour, Andrey Rublev benefitted from similar luck earlier this season. At the Qatar Open in March, the Russian advanced to the semi-finals without hitting a ball.

As third seed, Rublev received a bye before back-to-back walkovers against Richard Gasquet and Marton Fucsovics.

The world number five eventually lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in his first match.