Hong Kong - Former world No 1 Garbine Muguruza said she had put her
birthday celebrations on hold as she battles to rescue a disappointing
season by winning the WTA Hong Kong Open.
Muguruza, who has
slumped from top of the rankings in 2017 to world No 13, turned 25
on Monday but said celebrations had been low key the night before her first
round clash with fellow Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo.
"It was a
very simple celebration, we went to dinner with the team, but honestly,
if you're competing the next day it's very hard to think about something
else," she said.
"I'm sure I will have more time after here to do something more fun."
Muguruza cruised through 6-3, 6-1 but insisted the clash had not been plain sailing.
"It's not easy to play a Spanish player - because I know her - but I'm happy I'm in the second round."
former French Open and Wimbledon champion, who enjoys playing at the
net, added: "(Sorribes Tormo) is very talented so she managed to put me
in trouble and give me difficult balls, so I think it was very
Muguruza will be joined in the second round by top
seed Elina Svitolina, the world number five, who was relieved to get
past big-serving Australian Priscilla Hon in straight sets in the late
The Ukrainian is still in the hunt for WTA Finals Singapore and admitted feeling the "pressure" as the tournament favourite.
on Tuesday, Chinese No 1 Wang Qiang, currently enjoying the hottest
streak of her career, cruised to a straightforward 6-0, 6-2 victory over
Hong Kong's Zhang Ling.
After her latest win Wang - who is even
being touted as a potential successor to double Grand Slam champion and
China tennis icon Li Na - said she was playing the best tennis of her
career, adding she felt more "confidence" on court.
Hibino, ranked 125 in the world, bundled out 2011 US Open champion
Samantha Stosur in straight sets. The Australian, who is still ranked
69, went down 3-6, 3-6.
Meanwhile Australia's Daria Gavrilova
backed Roger Federer after the Swiss great warned temperamental tennis
star Nick Kyrgios he needed to work harder to realise his potential.
20-time Grand Slam champion offered the tough love to Kyrgios after the
23-year-old made yet another contentious exit from the Shanghai Masters
Federer described Kyrgios as "a great player" but added he needed to develop a work ethic to go with his talent.
Gavrilova, the second-ranked Australian woman, said: "I'm pretty sure Roger is spot on."
She added: "(Kyrgios) is definitely one of the most talented players out there and I love watching him.
"I don't know what happened in Shanghai but ... hopefully he can make a breakthrough and win a few slams."
Russian-born Aussie, back at the Hong Kong Open after losing last
year's typhoon-delayed final, added of her compatriot: "He's different,
he plays different and I guess when you come to watch him you never know
what's going to happen."
Gavrilova, the world No 34 who is
seeded seventh at the Hong Kong Open, booked her place in the second
round after a fiery three-set victory over the Kazakh Zarina Diyas.
Australian queried a number of debatable line calls, at one point
channelling her inner John McEnroe as she yelled at the chair umpire:
"You can't be serious!"
Despite last year's final ending in the
early hours in front of just a handful of bedraggled spectators, she
insisted she has good memories of the tournament.
"I love coming back here," she smiled.