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Muguruza vs Suarez Navarro WTA Sydney Preview, Prediction and Live Streaming: Injury clouds over Muguruza as she opens her Sydney campaign against compatriot, Carla Suarez Navarro

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 6 Jan 2019
  • Garbine Muguruza vs Carla Suarez Navarro is live from Sydney on Monday, 7 January from 4:30pm local time/ 5:30am GMT
  • Muguruza struggled with a thigh injury at the Hopman Cup in Perth
Garbine Muguruza. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

Former world No. 1, Garbine Muguruza officially gets her WTA season underway on Monday when she takes on fellow Spaniard, Carla Suarez Navarro in the first round of the Sydney International.

Muguruza had begun each of the previous three seasons in Brisbane, when she bizarrely exited the tournament via retirements in all of the three years, but she adopted a different routine in 2019, opting to spend the opening week of her year at the more light-hearted surroundings of the Hopman Cup in Perth.

Muguruza, partnering veteran compatriot, David Ferrer in the mixed team event, went 1-2 in singles matches in Perth, falling to Angelique Kerber and Ashleigh Barty before ending with a straight sets victory over Frenchwoman, Alize Cornet as Spain finished third in Group A. However, her early season injury curse struck again as Muguruza struggled with a thigh problem during her match against Cornet and subsequently pulled out of the mixed doubles rubber against France.

How will her body hold up as she competes in a tough Sydney field this week? She also had problems in Sydney last year, when she withdrew with a right adductor injury after beating Kiki Bertens in the opening round.

The Spaniard went on to produce a topsy-turvy season, featuring more downs than ups. She won her only title in Monterrey, reached the final in Doha and made semi-finals at Roland Garros, Dubai, Hong Kong and Zhuhai, but her ranking took a massive hit with successive early exits at Wimbledon and Cincinnati, as she surrendered her titles at both tournaments. The 25-year-old did not play between Wimbledon and Cincinnati due to an arm injury.

The Spaniard ended the year ranked18th in the world, failing to finish inside the top ten for the first time since 2014. After her poor run in Australia last year, Muguruza has got the chance to get some points and move up the rankings this month, and she faces her first hurdle on Monday when she plays Carla Suarez Navarro in Sydney.


Former world No. 6, Suarez Navarro also wants her first win of the year after crashing to a 6-0 6-3 loss to Anett Kontaveit in her season opener in Brisbane last week. 

Carla Suarez Navarro. (Photo by EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
After reaching a career-high No. 6 in in 2016, Suarez Navarro struggled with injuries and poor form in 2017, and had slipped to 40th by the end of the year, ending a run of four successive top-20 finishes.

Her lowly ranking meant she was reduced to playing the Sydney qualifiers last year, and she failed in that bid, losing to American, Kristie Ahn in the first round.

Despite that result, the Spaniard reached the quarter finals of the Australian Open, where she pushed eventual champion, Caroline Wozniacki to three sets, while she made her second Grand Slam quarter final of the season at the US Open, scoring huge wins over Kristina Mladenovic, Caroline Garcia and Maria Sharapova before losing to Madison Keys. Suarez Navarro also made the New Haven final, and quarter finals at Premier Mandatory Tournaments at Indian Wells and Madrid. She had her fair share of early exits in 2018, but the 30-year-old played well in enough big tournaments to get her ranking going in the right direction once again after dropping off in 2017. She finished the year at No. 23 in the world.

Suarez Navarro's only previous victory over Muguruza was via retirement in Doha in 2015, just a week after Muguruza had scored a three-set victory in their only other meeting in Dubai.

It is very possible that Muguruza overpowers Suarez Navarro in the way Kontaveit did in Brisbane last week, but the lower-ranked Spaniard has carved out a fine career despite her shortcomings in power stakes. She makes up for that with wonderful speed and variety, and if she's on her game, she can cause Muguruza serious problems, especially with questions marks hovering over the latter's movement.

Garbine Muguruza vs Carla Suarez Navarro is live from Sydney on Monday, 7 January from 4:30pm local time/ 5:30am GMT

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Muguruza vs Suarez Navarro WTA Sydney Preview, Prediction and Live Streaming: Injury clouds over Muguruza as she opens her Sydney campaign against compatriot, Carla Suarez Navarro

Garbine Muguruza plays compatriot Carla Suarez Navarro on Monday in her first WTA match of the season on Monday. Who will win the all-Spanish battle? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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