Eastbourne, June 20 (IANS) Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, who lost in the first round at the German Open, did not make the same mistake as she defeated Poland’s Magdalena Frech in straight games in the WTA 250 event at Eastbourne on Monday.
The former Wimbledon champion, the fifth seed here, claimed her first grass-court win in nearly a year with a 6-1, 7-6(7) against the Polish player.
After a first set that lasted just over a half-hour, Muguruza was pushed hard in the second set by world No. 92 Frech, the third-highest ranked Polish player.
From 6-1, 3-1 down, Frech got the second set back on serve, was ahead for much of it on serve from then on, and battled back from a big deficit in the tie-break. Muguruza won five of the first six points but ultimately needed four match points to secure a 1 hour, 42-minute victory, according to a report on the WTA website.
Since winning the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico to the end of 2021, the two-time major winner has struggled. The win against Frech is just her third win in a WTA event since February. She’s playing Eastbourne for the third time in her career.
“The conditions were hard today. I feel like I fought hard against the wind, and I haven’t played many matches on grass either,” Muguruza said after her victory. “I could see today that if I didn’t fight as hard as I can, I wasn’t going to win.”
Muguruza next faces the winner of the second-round match between No. 12 seed Camila Giorgi of Italy and Canadian lucky loser Rebecca Marino. Marino got the better of Great Britain’s Heather Watson, also a lucky loser, in Monday’s Round 1, 7-6(1), 6-4.
Frech’s compatriot Magda Linette opened play on Centre Court earlier Monday with a marathon win over No.17 seed Alison Riske. The 66th-ranked Linette came from a set down to outlast Riske, ranked 31 spots above her, in a staggering 3 hours, 9 minutes, 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(4).
Former World No.19 Donna Vekic also advanced, losing just two games in beating Dayana Yastremska, 6-0, 6-2, of Ukraine in 57 minutes.
Former World No.23 Lesia Tsurenko too made it to the next round outlasting Colombia’s Camila Osorio in 2 hours, 11 minutes, 7-5, 7-6(2).
Tsurenko is the next opponent for No.9 seed Elena Rybakina, while Vekic faces No.14 seed and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova.