Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will use the Kooyong Classic starting Tuesday as a convenient emergency stop to gain much-needed match practice as the pair return from injury in time for the Australian Open.
The Serb wasn't at his best in defeating the world number five.
"I don't say I'm at 100 per cent, I can only say that when I get the feel of a tournament".
"I was happy to be out there and I was focused on myself and trying to work on things myself", the 23-year-old said. "It worked pretty well".
This was the first time Djokovic had appeared on a match court - even an unofficial one - since July 12, when he was forced to pull out of his Wimbledon quarter-final by that same cranky elbow. 2017's beaten finalist is up against Belinda Bencic in the opening round.
"So I don't think both of us are thinking that far ahead but if it were to happen, of course, it could be happening again". "There was a lot of fever and throat pain, everything".
"I am disappointed but I have talked to the WTA doctors and my team after the match and following their recommendation, I have to withdraw from the tournament", Muguruza said in a statement.
"I absolutely want more grand slams. I'll be fine for the Open".
"The knee is fine", he said in answer to the inevitable question. "You always have to beat the top players in order to get to the top".
In other Kooyong results, Australia's No.2-ranked Matt Ebden continued his good form, pushing former world No.7 Frenchman Richard Gasquet before a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) loss. The former ATP World No. 1 is looking for an Australian Open bid, and this win is a huge step toward that goal.
"Obviously I've had great results here in the past but I'll take it more modestly and see how it goes". He's hitting the ball brilliantly.
"There is a slight opportunity for a few guys in the field", the Croatian said of thse making comebacks amid injury absences including that of Andy Murray.
"It can free up the mind because you're coming in with lower expectations maybe", the Swede, who will be hosting his Game, Set and Mats show for Eurosport during the Open, told Reuters. My level is really, really high right now.
The Australian Open will begin on January 15.
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