12 January, 2018, 12:00 am
SYDNEY – Garbine Muguruza’s preparations for next week’s Australian Open were thrown into disarray when the world number three pulled out of the Sydney International due to a leg injury on Wednesday.
Hours after battling past Kiki Bertens 6-3 7-6(6) to advance to the quarter-finals in her opening match, the 24-year-old Spanish top seed withdrew with a right thigh complaint.
“I am disappointed but I have talked to the WTA doctors and my team after the match and following their recommendation, I have to withdraw from the tournament,” Muguruza said in a statement.
“I have felt pain in my right adductor since I started practising here. Yesterday, I felt better and wanted to play. However, during the match today the pain has been there all the time but I wanted to compete.”
The Wimbledon champion accepted a wildcard into the tournament after retiring with leg cramps during her opening match at the Brisbane International last week and called for a medical timeout after just three games against Bertens.
Muguruza, however, returned to the Ken Rosewall Arena and appeared to be moving freely, initially allaying fears of another injury setback by overcoming a woman who had beaten her in straight sets in their three previous meetings.
“Since the start I felt a little bit my adductor,” Muguruza said after registering her first win of the season. “I already felt it in Brisbane, so I thought I was going to be much better, but it came back.”