World No.7 Garbine Muguruza insists her Australian Open plans are on track despite making a shock withdrawal from the Brisbane International semi-finals.
The French Open champion lasted just five games on Pat Rafter Arena before retiring from Friday’s final four clash with unseeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, citing a right thigh injury.
World No.41 Cornet – who led 4-1 in the first set – will play the winner of the other semi-final between third seed Karolina Pliskova and sixth seed Elina Svitolina in Saturday’s tournament decider.
Fourth seed Muguruza complained of soreness in her right thigh after spending more than eight hours on court to defeat Australian Sam Stosur, Russian Daria Kasatkina and world No.9 Svetlana Kuznetsova in Brisbane.
However, the Spaniard insisted it would not disrupt her Australian Open preparations.
“No, it will not stop me,” Muguruza said.
“I just felt a little bit exhausted on the court.
“I have been dealing with tiredness and issues with all these hard matches I have been playing, and today I was far from 100 per cent.”
Muguruza had been hoping to make her first final since her stunning Roland Garros triumph over Serena Williams last year.
However, she looked strangely off colour and had already made 13 unforced errors to Cornet’s five by the time she called it quits.
“Obviously a little bit sad (after retiring) because I was very much motivated to be in semi-finals and to be able to reach the final,” she said.
“But I’m also very happy the way I played the three matches before.
“I’m going to take that, for sure…because I think all of the matches I played here were amazing.
“So I feel good, in general, with my tennis.”
Best known for beating Serena Williams three times in 2014, Cornet has not won a WTA final since last year’s Hobart International.
“When she decided to stop, I was a little bit surprised,” former world No.11 Cornet said.
“But a little bit of luck never killed anybody.
“I’m just going to take it. I really enjoy the fact that I’m in the final.”
Cornet’s ranking is expected to rise to world No.31 for making the Brisbane final but she can reach 26 if she wins it.
Either way, she is assured an Australian Open seeding.
“It’s a big day for me. I just learned that I’m going to be seeded at the Australian Open because of this match – I will take everything,” Cornet laughed.