Wayward Muguruza moves into Australian Open 3rd round

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Melbourne, Jan 21 (IANS) Young Spanish tennis star Garbine Muguruza shakily made her way past Belgian veteran Kirsten Flipkens to keep her push for a maiden Grand Slam title on track at the Australian Open here on Thursday.

Muguruza encountered several speed bumps during her second round outing before prevailing 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 19 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, reports Xinhua.

The Spanish third seed wasn’t exactly flawless, hitting 29 unforced errors in two sets. But overall, she was satisfied to get through a “complicated” match without dropping a set.

“I’m extremely happy because Kirsten is a very difficult opponent who has a unique game,” Muguruza, runner-up to Serena Williams at 2015 Wimbledon, said. “Every match is very tough and I am just happy to be here.”

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Despite some wayward shot-making, Muguruza was still able to execute 23 winners past her more senior opponent. The 22-year-old is the highest-ranked player left on her side of the draw after second-seed Simona Halep crashed out in the first round on Tuesday.

Should the Barcelona-based youngster not slip up against Czech Barbora Strycova in the third round, she will face Australian Open dual-winner Victoria Azarenka in the Round of 16.

The 16th seed Azarenka has only given up three games in her first two matches at the Australian Open, winning 6-1, 6-2 against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro earlier on Thursday.

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