Garbine Muguruza was nowhere near 100 percent health heading into the Australian Open. The world No. 3 had just withdrawn prior to the second round of Sydney, one week after she retired against Aleksandra Krunic in Brisbane.
The Spaniard had been dealing with a leg injury, which she said is on the mend, but certainly didn't help her preparation for the first Slam of the season.
"Yes, it's going to be better if I don't play and I completely rest," she said. "The issue is recover and play, but I think with some good days now, we will get better."
In the first round on Tuesday, Muguruza beat world No. 256 Jessika Ponchet 6-4, 6-3 in a match that saw her commit 20 unforced errors. The performance left a lot to be desired, but she got through it almost comfortably.
Muguruza wouldn't have time to settle in, as she suffered a stunning defeat in her second-round meeting with world No. 88 Hsieh Su-Wei.
In a match that lasted just over two hours, Hsieh pulled off a 7-6 (1), 6-4 upset. Whatever Muguruza is going through will have to be corrected rather quickly, as she doesn't want to spiral out of control before the next Slam rolls around in May. Muguruza won her first major at Roland Garros in 2016, so she'll be expected to compete at a high level there.
But after committing 21 unforced errors on her forehand alone against Hsieh, it's easy to understand why some might doubt her moving forward. Muguruza plans to play Doha and Dubai next.
As for Hsieh, this is one of the biggest victories of the 32-year-old's career. The only other win that might rival it was her 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 upset over Johanna Konta in the first round of the 2017 French Open.
Hsieh does, however, have a knack for performing well Down Under. She made it all the way to the fourth round of the 2008 Australian Open, which is her career-best result in a Grand Slam.
The former world No. 23 is hoping to make some more magic happen this year., but she'll have her hands full with her next opponent, Agnieszka Radwanska. Radwanska is a two-time Australian Open semifinalist.
Read Joel Drucker and Nina Pantic on TENNIS.com as they report from the Australian Open, and watch them each day on The Daily Mix:
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