Third seed Muguruza knocked off balance by Strycova

Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:45pm EST
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By Greg Stutchbury

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Third seed Garbine Muguruza was left searching for her game as Czech Barbora Strycova outwitted her to record a 6-3 6-2 upset victory in the third round of the Australian Open on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Spaniard had been considered one of the contenders for the title but looked lethargic and unable to establish a rhythm against the Czech, who capitalised on her excellent tactical game to win the match in just 76 minutes.

"Barbora was making me move. She was being smart," Muguruza told reporters. "I felt that I was not moving very well. I guess also I didn't feel quite good at any moment.

"I think I just couldn't find the court, my shots and didn't really find my game."

Strycova, who had reached a career-high of 20 last year before her results and ranking fell away, had entered the season-opening grand slam ranked 48th, though her standard of play belied that.

She kept the Spaniard off balance and capitalised on a service game directed close to Muguruza's body that restricted her ability to swing from the hip on return.

"It's not easy against Garbine, because she plays fast and also very deep," Strycova said.

"I felt good on court. I was serving very well and the plan was like to play my game, mix it a little bit, but to play deep.   Continued...

Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova celebrates after winning her third round match against Spain's Garbine Muguruza at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed