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Swiatek, clear favorite and Muguruza to trust in a sudden return

Garbiñe Muguruza, last week at the Adelaide tournament. EFE/EPA/MATT TURNER

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Garbiñe Muguruza, last week at the Adelaide tournament. EFE/EPA/MATT TURNER

Melbourne (Australia), 15 ene (EFE).- The Polish and world number one Iga Swiatek (1) will be the clear favorite for the title at the Australian Open while the main Spanish hope, Garbiñe Muguruza, is confident that she can advance rounds and gain confidence because “she is good at coming back suddenly”.

There will be no defending champion after talented local tennis player Ashleigh Barty left an unprecedented void in women’s tennis after announcing her retirement as a professional at the age of 25 after winning in front of her crowd at Melbourne Park in what would be her third and final title ‘slam’.

However, one day after the start of the competition, it seems that there is only one name that stands out from the other 127 and this is the Polish Iga Swiatek, current champion of the United States Open and Roland Garros.

The Warsaw tennis player stormed the top spot in the WTA rankings on April 4 after Barty’s unexpected announcement and has not relinquished it after she achieved 37 consecutive victories, the best streak in the last 32 years.

Her brilliant 2022 consolidates her as the great favorite for an Australian Open that will also count as possible alternatives to the title with the Tunisian Ons Jabeur (3), current finalist at Wimbledon and the United States Open, the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (3), current champion in Adelaide, and Caroline Garcia, reigning champion of the WTA finals.

The American Jessica Pegula (3) also arrives in great shape after proclaiming herself United Cup champion with her country and beating players of the stature of Swiatek by a resounding 6-2, 6-2.

Regarding the Spanish representation in the final draw, the first national classified Paula Badosa dropped out of the competition two days before the start due to a groin injury and the spotlights went on to shine directly on Garbiñe Muguruza.

Despite her discreet 2022, the player born in Caracas (Venezuela) has two Grand Slam titles to her credit, as well as a final in the ‘major aussie’, which always make her aspire to the top in a date Like the Australian Open.

“The tennis sensations are good but I have lacked victories in the preparation matches,” said Muguruza at the press conference of the tournament that will start against the Belgian Elise Mertens (26).

The draw gave her a complicated but not impossible path with possible clashes in the following rounds against Sabalenka herself in the third round, the Swiss Belinda Bencic (12) in the fourth and Jabeur in the quarterfinals.

“Sometimes it’s good not to start as a favorite because you don’t have that pressure,” said Muguruza, who the last time she participated in this event without being seeded, was established as a finalist after leaving names like the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina on the road. , the Dutch Kiki Bertens, the Russian Pavlyuchenkova and the Romanian Simona Halep.

The event is confident that the young promises, led mainly by the American Coco Gauff, will take a leap in level during this edition to forget the casualties of both Barty and one of the best in history, the American Serena Williams, who decided to retire. after the last US Open.

The Japanese Naomi Osaka will not participate in this edition either after she recently announced her pregnancy and that she would be back in 2024 to play an oceanic competition that she has won in 2019 and 2021.

Regarding the participation of Spaniards in the draw, Muguruza will be accompanied by Nuria Párrizas from Granada, who will debut against the Brazilian Beatriz Haddad (14), and Cristina Busca from Cantabria, who entered the final draw from the previous one and will debut against the German Eva Lys, who also played in the qualifying phase.

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