Muguruza overcomes injury to beat Cornet
The dual Grand Slam champion and world number 18 had lost her two previous singles matches in Perth to top 20 duo Angelique Kerber and Ashleigh Barty.
However, she overcame a thigh injury to beat Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, herself troubled by a back injury throughout the match, as Spain won their final tie 2-1.
The Spanish team of Muguruza and David Ferrer were already out of contention for the final.
Muguruza had treatment after the third game of the first set against Cornet, by which time she had two breaks of serve and a 3-0 lead, and later withdrew from the mixed doubles.
In the singles, she played on after an extended injury timeout and returned to the court with her left thigh strapped, less than two weeks out from the Australian Open.
Cornet, ranked 45th in the world, had her lower back worked on at the end of the first set and appeared likely to quit, but battled on in clear discomfort.
Her efforts were in vain though, as Muguruza claimed another early break in the second set and cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 win.
Muguruza said it was a confidence boosting win and while she didn’t believe the injury was serious, said the leg was causing significant discomfort.
“She is tough competitor and we have played lots of times,” Muguruza said of Cornet.
“It is always hard (playing Alize)… it is good for my confidence.
“It (leg) is so sore, we have been playing a lot this week –- I felt a little bit of pain in my quad.”
Muguruza is scheduled to continue her Australian Open preparation in Sydney next week.
In a see-sawing men’s singles match, the veteran Ferrer appeared set for an easy win when he was up a set and a break against Lucas Pouille, but then had to work overtime to scratch out the win.
Ferrer served for the match in the third set, but in the end needed a tie-break to win, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2) after a marathon rally on match point.
With Muguruza unavailable, the Spaniards forfeited the dead mixed doubles rubber.
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