Injury-hit Muguruza battles into second round

MELBOURNE, Jan 16, 2017 (BSS/AFP) - Big-hitting Spaniard Garbine Muguruza struggled with injury as she battled into the Australian Open second round Monday with a straight-sets win over New Zealand's Marina Erakovic.

The French Open champion, seeded seven, needed a medical time-out after the first set for what appeared to be a foot problem before returning to win 7-5, 6-4 on Margaret Court Arena.

"It was very tough when you're playing and starting to feel pain," she said afterwards.

"I tried to just stay calm and fight for the match. It's always tough against Marina and I'm very happy because it's the first major of the year and you're always a bit nervous."

Muguruza announced her arrival as a major force with her shock straight-sets victory over Serena Williams in last year's Roland Garros final, but consistency has been elusive.

She is yet to go beyond the fourth round at Melbourne Park but said ahead of the tournament she was learning to manage the pressure, and she had a good workout against Erakovic, ranked 110th.

Muguruza used her powerful groundstrokes to grind down the Kiwi as they exchanged service breaks in the opening set before the Spaniard took charge and broke again in the 11th game.

The 23-year-old, who opened her season with a run to the Brisbane International semi-finals before retiring with a right thigh injury, was broken early in the second set before knuckling down to romp to victory.

She will next play American Samantha Crawford, who beat compatriot Lauren Davis 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)