PIC: Garbine Muguruza said she is much better. (Credit: AFP)
AUSTRALIA - World number three Garbine Muguruza said Saturday she was hoping to be "pain-free" to begin her Australian Open campaign, but admitted she would have liked a better start to 2018.
The Wimbledon champion pulled out of the Sydney International with a thigh injury straight after beating Kiki Bertens on Wednesday.
A week earlier, she had retired from the Brisbane International with cramps.
"It is true, I would like to have played more matches," said the 24-year-old Spaniard, who said she was happy with her form, if not her fitness.
"I only played two matches, but I felt that my tennis was good. I think sometimes you do not need that many matches. With my experience, sometimes you play very good, and you do o't need 25 tournaments before," she said.
Muguruza revealed her injury had responded well to treatment, but she could not guarantee she would be 100% fit come the start of the year's first Grand Slam on Monday.
"Well, it is better. I am training every day. I am doing everything I can to be fully recovered," she said.
"Yeah, hopefully I am pain-free and everything-free once the tournament starts. I feel I am much better every day."
The two-time Grand Slam winner is in the same half of the draw as world number one Simona Halep and takes on French wildcard Jessika Ponchet, ranked 270, in the opening round.
Muguruza, seeded three, could face another Frenchwoman, Caroline Garcia, in the quarters.