‘Bad day at the office’: Spanish third seed Garbine Muguruza knocked out of Australian Open
Garbine Muguruza admitted on Saturday she had a “very bad day at the office” after failing to live up to her billing as third seed in a shock Australian Open loss to Barbora Strycova.
The Spanish star, a Wimbledon finalist last year, became the latest top-10 player to crash out of the season-opening grand slam event with her error-strewn game exposed 6-3, 6-2 by the Czech veteran, who reached the fourth round for the first time in nine attempts.
It was a remarkable upset by Strycova, who had only gone beyond the third round once in 38 previous grand slam appearances – at Wimbledon in 2014, where she made the quarter-finals.
“Clearly not my best, for sure. I think today is a very bad day at the office,” said 22-year-old Muguruza, the breakout star of 2015 who had high hopes of claiming a first grand slam title at Melbourne Park.
“I think Barbora played good, very good. Also, I didn’t play good. But, I don’t know, I think I just couldn’t find the court, my shots. I didn’t really find my game.”
Muguruza’s flop puts her alongside second seed Simona Halep, sixth seed Petra Kvitova and eighth seed Venus Williams as top 10 players who have failed to make the tournament’s second week.
Strycova’s reward is a showdown with two-time champion Victoria Azarenka, seeded 14, for a spot in the quarter-finals.
“Victoria is very, very good. I saw her hitting some balls yesterday and she’s hitting the ball very well,” said Strycova, a key member of her country’s Fed Cup winning team last year.
“What went well? I think everything,” added the 29-year-old. “I was serving very well, and the plan was to play my game, mix it a little bit, but to play deep.
“And it’s not easy against Garbine, because she plays fast and also very deep. Today I think she didn’t have the best day and I felt good on court, and that’s why I think I won.”