CoCo Vandeweghe blasted her way into her first grand slam semifinal with a dominant display of power tennis to destroy French Open champion Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-0 at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old American, who was equally as impressive in dispatching world number one Angelique Kerber in the previous round, controlled the match from the seventh game of the first set when she achieved her first break of serve.
Having taken 56 minutes to wrap up the first set, Vandeweghe raced through the second as she blasted winners from both sides of the court to clinch the match and her semi-final place 27 minutes later.
“I really wasn’t feeling that great out there funnily enough. I was actually quite nervous,” Vandeweghe said. “I just tried to play my best, stay within myself and keep my patterns.
“She fought through a few break points but I kept up the pressure and she finally cracked.
“Then once I got rolling in the second it was like a freight train and (she) couldn’t stop it.”
Vandeweghe, whose previous best grand slam tournament was making the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2015, will now meet compatriot Venus Williams in Thursday’s semifinal.
Vandeweghe had said after she defeated Kerber the key to overcoming last year’s French Open champion was to “beat her to that punch.”
While neither gave an inch in the opening salvos of the first set, the American’s brutal groundstrokes finally produced some sustained pressure on the Spaniard in the seventh game.
She held five break points that Muguruza fought off but the Spaniard then handed the advantage to the world number 35 with a double fault that gave the American a 4-3 lead, which ultimately was the only difference between the pair in the first set.
“It was quite frustrating for me to have so many break points because I was second guessing myself on what to do with the returns,” Vandeweghe said. “I think the pressure got to her because she gave me the double fault.”
Vandeweghe fought off Muguruza’s only break point of the first set in the 10th game and sealed it in 56 minutes when the seventh seed’s backhand sailed over the baseline.
With the momentum behind her, Vandeweghe simply blasted away in the second set, hitting winners at will and barely putting a foot wrong.