Muguruza ‘manages anxiety’ to make winning start to season

WhatsApp Image 2022 01 12 at 12.05.31 PM

Australian Open third seed Garbine Muguruza made a confident start to her season with a straight-sets win over battling Ekaterina Alexandrova on Wednesday at the Sydney Classic.

The Spanish
world number three, who had a first-round bye in Sydney, withstood a fightback
from the 40th-ranked Russian in the second set to win 6-1, 7-6 (7/4).

Muguruza
will now play another Russian, Daria Kasatkina, in the quarter-finals after she
upset Belgian Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-4.

Muguruza, a
former world number one and two-time Grand Slam champion, will be one of the
main contenders for next week’s Australian Open.

Her best
result at Melbourne Park was in 2020, when she finished runner-up to surprise
winner Sofia Kenin.

Playing her
first match since winning the WTA Finals in November, the 28-year-old Muguruza
said she was encouraged by the way she had stayed strong when facing five set points
in the second set.

“I was
most pleased that I stood very calmly in the second set when I was, you know,
5-4 down and serving and having all those set points, where you can get a
little bit upset,” she said.

“So to
manage the anxiety, playing the first match of the year and you want to win and
you want to start on the right foot.

“The
last match was two months ago so it’s been a while.”

Tunisia’s
Ons Jabeur warmed up for the first Grand Slam of the year by defeating two-time
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-4.

The
27-year-old Jabeur had a breakthrough 2021, winning her maiden WTA singles
title and surging into the top 10 for the first time.

Seeded
seventh this week in Sydney, Jabeur came from behind in both sets to defeat
Kvitova for the first time in four attempts to set up a quarter-final against
Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit.

The
fourth-seeded Kontaveit had a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over Romanian qualifier
Elena-Gabriela Ruse.

In the men’s
draw four of the top-five seeded players progressed without too many problems.

Top-ranked
Russian Aslan Karatsev beat Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 7-5, 6-4, while
third-seeded Briton Dan Evans crushed Spaniard Pedro Martinez 6-2, 6-3.

Second seed
Nikoloz Basilashvili plays former world number one Andy Murray later Wednesday.

The
Australian Open starts on Monday.

Author: desi123

Desi123.com is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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