This match was switched from Court 1 to Court Suzanne-Lenglen just an hour before the start of play, after Elina Svitolina’s scheduled opponent Kateryna Kozlova withdrew with a virus… and it turns out Muguruza’s reward for victory is an intriguing third-round clash with the Ukrainian No.9 seed.
Against Larsson, there was no sign of the torpor which shrouded the 2016 champion in her first set against Townsend; and of course she did not have the complexity of dealing with a lefty.
Larsson has had a rough old time of it of late, losing eight straight opening rounds before reaching the second stage in defence of her Nurnberg title last week.
She saw off the highly useful Magdalena Rybarikova in the Roland-Garros first round, but in this one an optimistic start could take her only so far. One of the few players to eschew the ubiquitous on-court towel, Larsson was soon figuratively sweating as Muguruza crashed a power forehand return to break for 3-2, after which the Swede could barely get a point on the No.19 seed’s serve.
Muguruza stonewalled any misplaced idea of a revival by plundering 14 of the first 16 points in the second chapter. Naturally she wore her customary expression of near-fury throughout, even – or perhaps particularly – in moments of greatest satisfaction; but this was a good day’s work. Larsson offered some good rallies, but by time Muguruza put away match point, she was winning 83 per cent of her points on her first serve.