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March 1, 2021

Mature Muguruza happy despite Osaka defeat

Mature Muguruza happy despite Osaka defeat

This handout picture released by Tennis Australia on February 14, 2021 shows Spain’s Garbine Muguruza speaks at a press conference on day seven of the Australian Open in Melbourne. (Photo by VINCE CALIGIURI / TENNIS AUSTRALIA / AFP)

A disappointed Garbine Muguruza insisted Sunday that she would still leave the Australian Open with a “good feeling” despite failing to convert two match points against Naomi Osaka in a fourth-round defeat.

The Spanish 14th seed, the losing finalist last year, was on the cusp of making the quarter-finals once more at 5-3, 40-15 in the third set.

But was unable to get across the finish line as Osaka reeled off four straight games to complete an improbable 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 comeback.

“I mean, really the difference I feel like it was one point,” she said.

“We had a lot of great points. I felt, of course, a little bit disappointing being 5-3 in the third set up, having match points

“It’s never a good feeling losing a match that you feel you could have changed in one second. But I left the court with a good feeling, very good feeling of this tournament in general.”

Two-time Grand Slam winner Muguruza had been in good form ahead of meeting Osaka and emerging as a serious championship contender.

She reached the final of the warm-up Yarra Valley Classic and had not dropped at a set in this year’s Open before meeting Osaka .

“When you’re younger, you’re disappointed,” said Muguruza, who lost in the final last year to Sofia Kenin.

“(But) I feel like it’s just little details here and there that makes a difference with the top players. I think I’m on the right path.

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“Also the Australian swing, I played nine, 10 matches almost back-to-back. That was good. That was a good test for me physically, mentally,” she added.

“I’m pretty happy with my performances.”

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