By Pritha Sarkar
LONDON (Reuters) – Garbine Muguruza is one of only four women left in the women’s draw to have made it to a Wimbledon final but two years on from that feat, she still wonders quite how she did it.
The Spaniard, who thrashed Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-2 on Saturday, will meet Angelique Kerber in the fourth round on Monday in a battle of the last two Wimbledon runner-ups.
Like Kerber, she was felled by Serena Williams in the final but the fact that she even got a chance to play the title match in 2015 continues to amaze her.
“I never feel that comfortable in grass. Every time I start the grass season, I’m like, ‘how the hell did I (reach) that final? This kind of feeling,” said the 2016 French Open champion.
“The experience I have now … for sure helps me. But it’s tough.”
Her grasscourt know-how has certainly been in evidence this week as she has reached the second week without dropping a set.
Cirstea, who reached the third round after American opponent Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffered a horrible knee injury on Thursday, matched Muguruza for power but made too many errors to pose a serious threat to the 14th seed.
The Romanian held on to her opening service game with an ace but Muguruza was quickly into her groove and reeled off the next five games before Cirstea managed to stem the tide briefly.
The same happened in the second set. Cirstea again held in the opening game with a backhand winner, before Muguruza changed gear and went on a five-game streak.
Muguruza, 23, showed there was more to her game than power with some silky dropshots as she cruised to victory in a little over an hour on Court Two.
While Muguruza has avoided any on-court drama this week, the same cannot be said about her cooking skills.
On Friday she thought she was in danger of being hauled out of her rented accommodation near the All England Club after setting off the smoke alarm in the house.
“I love red meat. We were doing nice steaks. I did a lot of steaks. It was so much smoke that the … alarm (went off),” she said laughing.
“It was like this for 20 minutes. We didn’t know what to do … I felt scared. I’m like ‘Are they going to come just because of steak?'”
While the Spaniard plans to enjoy a more chilled out Sunday, on Monday she will be back hoping that it will be her smoking groundstrokes that will put Kerber off her stride.
“I’m motivated. I have toughest rounds to come. I’m just looking forward for it,” added Muguruza.
(Additional reporting by Martyn Herman,; editing by Clare Lovell)