By Ros Satar, in Cincinnati

  • Lesia Tsurenko def. Garbiñe Muguruza [7] 2-6 6-4 6-4
  • Heads into US Open with just one match on the hard courts
CINCINNATI, USA – Defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza fell at the first hurdle of her Western & Southern Open defence.

 

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Lesia Tsurenko def. Garbiñe Muguruza [7] 2-6 6-4 6-4

 

Western & Southern Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza’s title defence ended in her opening round, after a hard-fought battle against Lesia Tsurenko. Last week Muguruza had to pull out of the Roger’s Cup in Montreal with an arm injury, and she had been looking forward to competing at Cincinnati.

The match started solidly for the Spaniard who, despite having to shake off break points in her opening game, was the first to strike with a break for a 4-2 lead, breaking again for the set.

Tsurenko lifted her level though and after an initial trading of breaks, she would be the one to get a decisive second break before finally snagging the second set. The decider looked as though it was going to be a formality for the Cincinnati defending champion. Tsurenko just seemed to have more pace at the end, breaking Muguruza twice before closing out the win.

After the match, Muguruza said:” I think it was a very ugly match, but I’m happy that I fight, even. The level wasn’t very high, but at the end she managed to come back in the third set and play better and found a way to keep winning and win the match.

“I’m happy that I didn’t feel pain. Obviously, I didn’t have a lot of practices to try to recover, so I had to manage a little bit. Well, I’m happy that I didn’t felt pain. I competed. Didn’t go my way. I’m going to take that positive and keep training for US Open.”

With just one match under her belt, Muguruza was undecided as to whether she was going to look for more match practice, possibly at New Haven next week, or just opt for training ahead of the final Slam of the year.

She continued: “I have to think what I’m going to do. You always believe you’re going to go far in the tournament, so once it’s over you think, okay, what’s my next step? For sure keep getting ready. I don’t know if I’m going to compete or not, so I will see now.”

Sometimes it Is hard to believe that Muguruza is just 24 and already a two-time Slam champion. So what has that experience in such a short period of time taught her as she has to prepare for the final Slam?

“To believe that I don’t have to be 100% ready or in the best moment of your life to win it. I know that behind every Grand Slam there is crazy stories, I’m sure, for everybody, that you ended up winning and maybe you never thought it was going to happen, things like that.

“So it makes me believe that so many things are possible. Doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen. Just experience to work hard and to never lose the, how you say, motivation to believe you can do it.”

The US Open takes place between 27 August to 9 September.

 

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