Muguruza gets much-needed win
Andy Murray hopeful of being fit for Wimbledon
Published: Jun 21, 2022 07:40 PM
Garbine Muguruza kick-started a difficult season as the former Wimbledon champion beat Poland's Magdalena Frech 6-1, 7-6 (9/7) to reach the last 16 of the Eastbourne International on Monday.

The No.5 seed earned just her third win on the WTA Tour since February.

"The conditions were hard today. I feel like I fought hard against the wind, and I haven't played many matches on grass either," said Muguruza.

"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 12th seed Camila Giorgi and Canadian lucky loser Rebecca Marino, who got the better of Britain's Heather Watson 7-6 (7/1), 6-4.

Magda Linette produced an upset to beat 17th seed Alison Riske in a marathon encounter lasting over three hours.

All eyes on Tuesday will turn to Serena Williams' return to court as she pairs up with world No.3 Ons Jabeur in the doubles.

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, has not played since suffering an injury during her first-round match at Wimbledon 12 months ago, plummeting to 1,204th in the world rankings.

Garbine Muguruza celebrates victory against Magdalena Frech on June 20, 2022 in Eastbourne, England. Photo: VCG

Garbine Muguruza celebrates victory against Magdalena Frech on June 20, 2022 in Eastbourne, England. Photo: VCG

However, the 40-year-old has been handed a wild card to return to singles action at Wimbledon next week and is getting some match practice this week at Eastbourne.

In the men's event, Australia's Alex de Minaur began the defence of his title with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Chilean Cristian Garin.

America's Sebastian Korda pulled out of Wimbledon due to "terrible shin splints" after he lost in straight sets to John Millman 6-3, 7-6 (7/5).

Millman will next play Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik after he beat seventh seed Frances Tiafoe 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-0.

Elsewhere, Andy Murray faces a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon next week, but believes he is in a better position than he was ahead of the championships last year.

The three-time Grand Slam champion was forced to pull out of last week's tournament at Queen's due to an abdominal injury suffered in losing the final of the Stuttgart ATP event to Matteo Berrettini.

"The positives are I've been able to practice but there are certain shots I've not been able to practice, so that has obviously disrupted my preparations. The injury is healing but still not perfect," said the two-time Wimbledon winner.

"I've been practicing for the past three or four days and have been practicing well. But unfortunately in matches you can't just not hit certain shots. In the next couple of days hopefully I'll get the chance to test that and hopefully it will be fine."

Murray made it through to the third round at Wimbledon last year despite an injury-disrupted preparation.

His form on the grass at Surbiton, where he reached the semifinals, and Stuttgart has edged the 35-year-old back up to 51st in the world.

And he is confident of performing well at the All England Club, as long as he is not hampered by injury.

Wimbledon begins on June 27.