Muguruza, Stephens make early exits at China Open

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BEIJING, Oct2 (AGENCIES): World number one Garbine Muguruza fell at the first hurdle at the China Open on Monday, with the Spaniard forced to retire during her first-round match against Czech Barbora Strycova.

Muguruza looked sluggish throughout and was broken in the first game before losing the first set 6-1. She was trailing 2-0 in the second when she decided she could not continue. “I got a virus in Wuhan and I did not practise in Beijing. I thought an extra day’s rest would help, and didn’t want to pull out,” Muguruza said. “But I couldn’t perform today.” American qualifier Christina McHale served up another shock when she beat Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-0 to send the US Open champion crashing out in the first round of a tournament for the second week in a row. Stephens, who is seeded 15th in Beijing, was eliminated in the first round of last week’s Wuhan Open by China’s Wang Qiang.

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