Australian Open 2023: Former World Number 1 Garbine Muguruza Bows Out in First Round


Edited By: Amrit Santlani

Last Updated: January 17, 2023, 11:22 IST

Garbine Muguruza in action against Elise Mertens (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Former world number 1 Garbine Muguruza suffered a 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-1 upset at the hands of Elise Mertens of Belgium

Former world number 1 and two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza bowed out of the Australian Open 2023 in the first round.

She faced off against Elise Mertens of Belgium and the latter registered a comeback win sending Muguruza back home.

The 2020 Australian Open finalist lost 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-1 to the 26th-seeded Mertens. While Muguruza began the contest really well, winning the first set without breaking much sweat, in the second game things turned around.

The 27-year-old Mertens fought back valiantly to keep herself alive in the match and eventually forced a tie-breaker, winning the second set.

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Having been stunned by her opponent, Muguruza completely lost her momentum and the Belgian prevailed 6-1 in the final set, making it a one-sided end to the contest.

The former French Open and Wimbledon champion exits the Australian Open in the first round but the Spanish-Venezuelan athlete will be hoping to bounce back from the setback.

In other results on day two of the Melbourne showpiece, fourth seed Caroline Garcia also made her way into the second round, beating Canadia’s Katherine Sebov 6-3 6-0 in straight sets.

Furthermore, local crowd favorite Kimberly Birrell registered a massive upset as she eliminated 31st seed Kaia Kanepi.

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Interestingly, Kimberly was given a route into the main draw after Venus Williams pulled out of the Australian Open, and the former produced a great comeback to take home a memorable 3-6 7-6(4) 6-1 win.

Elsewhere, Dominic Thiem also suffered a similar fate to that of Muguruza as he was upset by Andrey Rublev, whereas the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Iga Swiatek all progressed into the second round.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal was also made to work hard for his first win, as he battled past Jack Draper, whereas Victoria Azarenka beat Sofia Kenin to advance at the latter’s expense.

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