Garbine Muguruza “manages anxiety” to make winning start to season


Australian Open third seed Garbine Muguruza started his season confidently with a straight-set victory over Ekaterina Alexandrova on Wednesday at the Sydney Classic. The Spanish world number three, who benefited from a bypass in the first round in Sydney, resisted a response from the Russian, 40th in the second set, to win 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) .

Muguruza will now face another Russian, Daria Kasatkina, in the quarter-finals after beating Belgium’s Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-4.

Muguruza, 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 second to surprise winner Sofia Kenin.

Playing her first game since winning the WTA final in November, Muguruza, 28, said she was encouraged by the way she remained strong against five set points in the second set.

“I was very happy to stand really calm in the second set when I was, you know, at 5-4 and serving and having all these set points, where you can get a little upset.” , she said.

“So to manage the anxiety, play the first game of the year and you want to win and you want to start off on the right foot.

“The last game 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 beating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-4.

Jabeur, 27, made a breakthrough in 2021, winning his first WTA singles title and entering the top 10 for the first time.

Seeded seventh this week in Sydney, Jabeur came back from behind in straight sets to beat Kvitova for the first time in four attempts to stage a quarter-final against Estonian Anett Kontaveit.

Fourth seed Kontaveit took a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 victory over Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse.

For the men, four of the five seeds progressed without too many problems.

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

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


The Australian Open starts on Monday.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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