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25 February 2024

Muguruza runs hot to Open quarters


Red-hot Spaniard Garbine Muguruza blasted into her first Australian Open quarter-final on Sunday with a resounding straight-sets thumping of Sorana Cirstea.

The French Open champion was too much for the Romanian, winning 6-2, 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena and looking as if she is hitting her stride in Melbourne.

She will now play either German world number one Angelique Kerber or unseeded American Coco Vandeweghe for a place in the semi-finals.

"This was a very important match for me because it was my third time in the round of 16 and I had never gone through before," she said.

"It means a lot. I always come here very motivated and to be in the quarter-finals is a great achievement. I'm looking forward to keeping on winning."

While Muguruza, seeded seven, she has been getting better as the tournament progresses with Cirstea, ranked 78, under the gun from the start.

The Romanian, 26, did well to get this far as she continues to struggle with a right shoulder injury that has hampered her for years and which still needs rehab despite surgery.

Muguruza, 23, struggled with consistency last year but she has managed to avoid the glut of early exits by top seeds, including Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska and Dominika Cibulkova.

A thunderous hitter of the ball, the Spaniard was in the zone from the beginning, reeling off winners that gave her a break in the third game.

Her right thigh was strapped after complaining of a sore leg during her first-round clash, but it didn't seem to hamper her as she rattled through the first set in just 25 minutes, forcing Cirstea into too many errors.

The Romanian was having trouble handling Muguruza's aggressive baseline play, and treatment to what appeared to be a blister on her racquet hand early in the second set didn't help.

She went a break down in the third game and never recovered against the rock-solid Muguruza.