Muguruza hopes to be fit for Australian Open despite viral illness

By Sports Desk January 16, 2020

Garbine Muguruza hopes to be fit for the Australian Open after withdrawing from the Hobart International due to a viral illness.

Former world number one Muguruza withdrew from her quarter-final against Veronika Kudermetova on Thursday.

The two-time grand slam winner is scheduled to face a qualifier in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday. She is in the same quarter of the draw as Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Angelique Kerber.

Muguruza tweeted: "I'm sorry I could not play today. I've had a fever for several days and this morning my body said 'enough'.

"I'll rest today and hope to travel to Melbourne tomorrow. I hope to be able to play [the Australian Open].

"I want to thank all the fans in Hobart for their support and love. I hope to return soon."

Heather Watson beat top seed Elise Mertens 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-5 to reach the semi-finals, while Kudermetova will take on Zhang Shuai.

At the Adelaide international Simona Halep suffered a 6-3 6-2 quarter-final loss to Aryna Sabalenka.

Second seed Halep lasted just one hour and nine minutes against Sabalenka, who reeled off seven straight games to take the first set and move 5-0 up in the second.

The Wimbledon champion won the next two games but was unable to hold serve to stay in the match.

Sabalenka will take on Dayana Yastremska, who beat Donna Vekic 6-4 6-3, in the semi-finals.

Top seed Ash Barty repeated her French Open final victory over Marketa Vondrousova to reach the final four in Adelaide.

Barty hit 20 winners and saved six of seven break points to secure a 6-3 6-3 triumph and advance to a meeting with Danielle Collins after the American overcame Belinda Bencic 6-3 6-1.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Novak Djokovic and wife Jelena rise to Andy Murray's '100-volley challenge' Coronavirus: Novak Djokovic and wife Jelena rise to Andy Murray's '100-volley challenge'

    Novak Djokovic again showed he is a match for an Andy Murray challenge - even in a lockdown.

    The Serbian has had the better of their tennis head-to-head record, even if his 25-11 winning record includes defeats to the Briton in finals of the US Open and Wimbledon.

    With on-court rivalries on hold while tennis endures a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Murray looked to add a touch of spice this week when he challenged ATP and WTA stars to take part in a '100-volley challenge'.

    Murray and wife Kim strung together an impressive century, and on Friday came filmed proof that men's world number one Djokovic had also reached the target with his wife, Jelena.

    Spending more time than usual at home, the pair donned sports gear in their yard and showed impressive shared skills, before Djokovic appeared to hit their tennis ball over a wall once the hundred volleys were complete.

    He kissed his wife on the hand, and said: "Thanks Kim, thanks Andy, for challenging us.

    "If you've got any more challenges, we're here, we're available, we've got all the time in the world, this is the funnest part of the day. See you, guys."

    On Instagram, where Djokovic posted the video of the volley exchange, the 17-time grand slam winner jokingly described it as "too easy".

  • Rafa Nadal 'doesn't give a damn about tennis right now', says coach Toni Rafa Nadal 'doesn't give a damn about tennis right now', says coach Toni

    Rafael Nadal "doesn't give a damn about tennis right now", according to Toni Nadal, his coach and uncle.

    The ATP and WTA Tours have been suspended until June due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving the clay season effectively wiped off the calendar, with the French Open having been pushed back to September.

    Wimbledon has also been cancelled, making 2020 the first time since the Second World War that the famous grass-court grand slam will not be held.

    With the season on hold, the battle for the outright lead in major singles titles in the men's game has also been paused. Roger Federer has 20, with Nadal on 19 and Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic on 17.

    Given Federer's best chance of a major this year has arguably gone due to Wimbledon's cancellation, and with the French Open still due to go ahead, it has been suggested 2020 could finally be the year that the Swiss great is caught at the top of the standings by long-time rival Nadal.

    However, Toni Nadal insists such things are far from his nephew's mind while the world battles against COVID-19.

    Spain has been particularly badly affected, with more than 153,000 confirmed cases and over 15,000 fatalities.

    "With the huge problem we have, all this has been forgotten," Toni Nadal told Mundo Deportivo. "It's secondary. Coronavirus is what counts, not tennis.

    "We [Rafa and I] were talking and he told me he doesn't give a damn about tennis right now. That's logical if you have a little sensitivity."

    Rafa, it seems, was given an indication of what the pandemic could bring when speaking to Bill Gates at a charity event in South Africa in February.

    However, Toni has dispelled fears it could take some of the top players a long time to recapture their rhythm when tennis finally returns.

    "I understand Bill Gates spoke to Rafa, who was with him and Roger Federer at the exhibition match in Cape Town," said Toni.

    "They were chatting and at one point in the conversation, Bill Gates told my nephew that in two months, you wouldn't be able to travel. And so it is.

    "When he was a kid, Rafael was away from playing for a week and then he had a hard time hitting the ball again. But from a certain age, with more experience, that's no longer the case.

    "Because of injury, he could go up to three months without touching the racquet, but when he returned, he was fine in a week, or at most 10 or 15 days. This will be a similar situation."

    The decision to move the French Open to a slot a week after the scheduled end of the US Open has caused some consternation but, again, Toni Nadal was keen to point to the bigger picture.

    He added: "There are people who complained about not being consulted, but I'm not Roland Garros and I don't consult about it. 

    "I said a few weeks ago that things were going to be totally stopped for a while. How do you want us to play tennis? It's unthinkable. It won't be played until there is a very clear security measure.

    "If not, how do I go to an event? What if another wave [of infections] comes back in October? How many countries won't make restrictions on movement? How long will lockdown last? I don't know.

    "Tennis is a sport that moves many people from one country to another."

  • Martic prepared for hectic schedule but fears season could be over Martic prepared for hectic schedule but fears season could be over

    Petra Martic would relish the chance to play two grand slams in September but fears the coronavirus may have ended the 2020 season.

    The WTA and ATP Tours have been suspended until July 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Wimbledon called off for the first time since 1945.

    French Open organisers announced that the clay-court major would be put back to September 20, just a week after the US Open is scheduled to finish.

    Martic, currently in lockdown in Miami, says featuring in two grand slams in quick succession would be far from ideal, but the world number 15 would embrace that challenge as an alternative could be no more tennis this year.

    The Croatian told Stats Perform: "That's going to be a very unusual situation [playing the French Open so soon after Flushing Meadows] but like we all know, the schedule is not going to be perfect as there are too many tournaments.

    "Everything will be cramped up, we will be flying a lot, changing surfaces and time zones. Things are definitely not going to be ideal, but grand slams are what we play for and if we get a chance to play two this year that would be great.

    "Everybody fears the season could be over, they are trying their best to put potential schedules together but we have to see if anything can happen.

    "If the situation in the world gets better and we are able to play, I would definitely love to play two [majors]."

    Martic, who has trained every day since arriving in Florida, accepts she cannot make any plans in such an unprecedented situation.

    The 29-year-old added: "My favourite part of the year is being in Europe, playing on clay is always fun and I really enjoy it but this all came so suddenly, it's a weird situation.

    "When you stop it's usually because something hurts, so this waiting is not fun, but it is what it is.

    "I can do everything I need to be doing, it's just you don't know how to plan things and how hard to work out, it's hard to plan anything right now."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.