Tennis: Muguruza says foot much better ahead of Australian Open

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Melbourne, Jan 17 (IANS) Spanish rising woman tennis star Garbine Muguruza has said that she was making a fast recovery from a foot injury and expected to be fit for the start of the Australian Open, which gets underway next week.

“The foot is much better,” Efe quoted Muguruza as saying on Saturday at Melbourne Park after a light practice session, adding that she has been able to rest earlier this week and should be healed in time for her first round match on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old, who was forced to retire 10 days ago from a match at the Brisbane International because of the injury, will take on 86th-ranked Estonian Anett Kontaveit in her opening match Down Under.

It will be the first match between those two players.

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Muguruza is looking to build on her breakthrough 2015 season, when she won two titles, reached her first Grand Slam final (losing to Serena Williams at Wimbledon) and climbed to a career-high No.3 in the WTA rankings.

“I want to see how I’m handling all the new things that are happening,” the Venezuelan-born rising star said.

In last year’s Australian Open, Muguruza lost in the fourth round in three sets to Serena, who went on to capture her sixth title in Melbourne

Referring to the 34-year-old American, a 21-time Grand Slam champion who won three Major singles titles last season, Muguruza refused to say a changing of the guard in women’s tennis was imminent.

“The reality is that (Serena’s) still dominating. I’m going to focus on maintaining my level, the level I finished (2015) with. That’s it,” the world No. 3 added.

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