Melbourne - Fast-rising Garbine Muguruza
confidently eyed a potential final with defending champion Serena Williams on
Tuesday after she demolished debutante Anett Kontaveit to reach the second
The third-seeded Spaniard, the biggest
breakout star of 2015, was too hot for the Estonian, racing to a 6-0, 6-4
first-round win in just 60 minutes.
The explosive Muguruza, enjoying her
highest career seeding at a Grand Slam, has been tipped as a future world
number one and she lived up to her billing on Rod Laver Arena.
"It was definitely a good start. You
never know how it's going to go, first match always in a Grand Slam," she
"I'm pretty pleased with my level, and
obviously that I really concentrated during the whole match."
Although it's early days, she is already
pondering a title clash with Williams, although there is a possible fourth
round against two-time champion Victoria Azarenka to contend with first.
"To win the Grand Slam here you are
going to have to beat Serena (Williams). It will be great if I can play against
her," she said.
The highly marketable 22-year-old came out
firing, appearing keen to get off court as quickly as possible as the Melbourne
She signalled her intentions by breaking
the Estonian's first game before comfortably holding her own serve, dictating
the match and pushing her opponent around the court.
Though inexperienced, Kontaveit has proven
before to be a tough nut to crack, rolling into the second week of last year's
US Open before falling to Venus Williams in the round of 16, and she began
finding her range.
But it was still not enough to prevent the
Spaniard taking an ominous 3-0 lead, breaking again when the Estonian slammed a
forehand into the net.
She showed no mercy as Kontaveit, ranked 85
and playing her first Australian Open, desperately looked for answers but
couldn't find any, as Muguruza powered to the first set in just 23 minutes.
Muguruza, who made the fourth round last
year when ranked just 24, finally lost a game at the beginning of the second
set as her opponent, sweat dripping off her, showed fighting qualities to hold
serve to love.
But Muguruza quickly slammed the door shut
again and she accelerated to a 3-1 advantage.
The feisty Kontaveit refused to give up and
won three more games, but it was only delaying the inevitable with Muguruza
serving out for the easy win and a second round clash with experienced Belgian
Muguruza, who split with long-time coach
Alejo Mancisidor last year, is now working with Azarenka's former mentor Sam
Sumyk, who guided the Belarusian to the top of the women's game and successive
Australian Open titles in 2012 and 2013.
After claiming her first WTA title at
Hobart in 2014, last year was a watershed for Muguruza.
She not only reached the final at Wimbledon
but also in Wuhan, before winning the title at Beijing and making the semis of
the WTA Tour Finals.
The Barcelona-based star had an
early-season injury scare at the Brisbane International with blisters on her
feet, but said on Tuesday she was fully recovered.