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Muguruza reaches fourth round

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Originally published on 02/06/17 00:00

The Spaniard was far from her fluent best in the early stages as she struggled to keep the unforced-errors to a minimum. Her level of play continued to fluctuate for the remainder of set however she remained composed and played the big points well.

There was a steady flow of impressive winners in the second set from the defending champion – and her spirited opponent had no answer.

“She [Putintseva] is a great fighter,” admitted Muguruza. “I tried to stay [focused], I knew it would be a tough match and she plays well here, like last year, but I’m happy to win. I just tried to be aggressive and play my game. I always want to go for it, go to the net, take my chances, and be in control.”

Kristina Mladenovic, roared on by a vociferous home crowd, fought back from the brink to stun Shelby Rogers. The Frenchwoman trailed 2-5 in the deciding set, but she showed her grit and determination to edge a titanic tussle 7-5 4-6 8-6.

"I experienced so many emotions during this match I don’t know what to say,” remarked the thrilled 24-year-old. “At 5-2 in the second, I really didn’t believe it. I thought perhaps if I kept the heart up, I might be able to make it through. It’s thanks to you [the crowd] that I chased down every point and tried to win, you pushed me right until the very end.”

Mladenovic will now take on Muguruza is a mouth-watering fourth round clash.

Sam Stosur continues to impress on the red dirt and she swept past Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-2 6-2 to make it eight wins on the trot. The Australian will play Jelena Ostapenko next, who dispatched Lesia Tsurenko for the concession of just five games.

Venus Williams showed her title credentials in a 62 minute win over Elise Mertens. The American dropped just four games as she dictated play against her younger rival.

“I felt amazing,” remarked the 36-year-old after her sharp display. “My opponent was really talented. She is really young, so today I had experience on my side, and that helped a lot.”

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