Spain’s world No. 3 Garbine Muguruza is relishing the prospect of getting revenge on Anastasija Sevatsova at the Pan Pacific Open and vowed on Monday to put “everything on the barbecue” for the final swing of the WTA Tour.
As the top seed, French Open winner Muguruza has a first-round bye at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo and will open her campaign against either a qualifier or Latvian world No. 35 Sevatsova, who stunned her 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the U.S. Open earlier this month.
“It has been hard preparation (for this tournament),” Muguruza said. “Because I lost in the U.S. Open early, I spent more time back at home practicing and getting ready for the last swing. You always want to finish the year with a better feeling so I am going to put everything on the barbecue, as we say.
“I will be very looking forward to that (my first match). I think it would be a good challenge for me to play against her (Sevatsova) and try to do differently and win. But every match is hard, it doesn’t matter if it is her or the other girl, but it is funny that I could play her right away.
“I think for sure she (Sevatsova) felt more calm playing out there in a Grand Slam against a top seed. I didn’t play my best, that is for sure, but she played well and won a couple of matches after that also,” said the 22-year-old.
The Pan Pacific tournament is part of the Asian swing where players battle it out at various stops on the continent, culminating with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore.
Although disappointed with her early exit at the U.S. Open, Muguruza welcomed the extra time she has had as a result to get ready for the upcoming tournaments.
“You have to take care a little bit more with this swing because you carry all the tiredness and pains that you had during the year,” she said. “Luckily, well, it wasn’t lucky, but because of the U.S. Open I had time to get ready and get strong so I think I am going fine for now.”
In addition to a possible rematch with Sevatsova, the draw does not get any easier for last year’s semifinalist and doubles winner Muguruza. She faces a potential semifinal with No. 3 seed and U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova or No. 6 seed Dominika Cibulkova, among others.
“I don’t really care about who is on my side of the draw. I just know I am going to prepare for Sevatsova or a qualifier and if I win then prepare for whoever after that,” said Muguruza.
“I like it here. It is my fourth time here and one of the tournaments that I have played more in Asia. I feel like I want to reach deeper into the tournament. I won the doubles last year with my friend Carla (Suarez Navarro) and that was so much fun, so it is the singles draw that is missing for me.”
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