MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - World No.3 Garbiñe Muguruza hopes to put her injury concerns on ice ahead of a Tuesday start at the Australian Open.
The two-time major champion succumbed to cramping and a right adductor injury in her opening match at the Brisbane International. With the desire to get more match play ahead of the first Slam of the season, Muguruza took a wildcard into this week's Sydney International but was forced to withdraw after her opening round win due to her leg injury.
Muguruza told reporters on Saturday that she's been able to train on the leg and that it has been improving every day.
"I'm training every day," Muguruza said during media day at the Australian Open. "I'm doing everything I can to be fully recovered. Hopefully I'm pain-free and everything-free once the tournament starts."
"You always want to be perfect before a Grand Slam, but you're never perfect. But I feel I'm much better every day."The No.3 seed in Melbourne, Muguruza has been drawn into the top half of the draw, which is set to play on Tuesday. She opens against French wildcard Jessika Ponchet. Despite the injury-addled start to her season, Muguruza says she's been pleased with her tennis level.
"Is true, I would like to have played more matches," Muguruza said. "But you never really know how is going to start the year. I only played two matches, but I felt that my tennis was good. Maybe my fitness was a little bit, you know, not there.
"I think sometimes you don't need that many matches. With my experience, sometimes you play very good, and you don't need 25 tournaments before, sometimes you need it. So far, I am okay."
"I'm trying to be fully ready to go. Honestly, I never feel I'm super perfect in any tournament. It's true, when you have the Grand Slam, you even want to feel more ready. That's what I'm going through. I'm trying to every day improve, try to recover. I know I'm playing on Tuesday, so we'll see."
A quarterfinalist last year, Muguruza's imperfect preparation for the Australian Open hasn't put a damper on her spirits.
"Of course, I will be happier if I would come here playing more matches," Muguruza said. "But that's not going to put me down at all. I'm looking forward to start. I have good memories from last year. In general, I always have good memories from the Australian Open."