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Mature Muguruza happy despite Osaka defeat

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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.

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“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.

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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.

“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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