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Muguruza sees opportunity at Aussie Open

AAP logoAAP 12/01/2017 Ben McKay

Spanish sensation Garbine Muguruza claims the Australian Open women's draw is wide open following Serena Williams' fall from world No.1.

Angelique Kerber is the first woman aside from Williams in five years to start as the top seed at Melbourne Park.

The changing of the guard at the top of the pecking order has almost smashed the usual feeling ahead of the first major of the year that it's Williams' tournament to lose.

Instead, it's now anyone's Open, and Muguruza hopes that she can be the one to pounce.

"It is a little bit more equal than last years," she told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.

"There are a lot of girls that can hold the trophy (so) it is going to be a big battle to see who is the best in these two weeks."

The lack of aura surrounding Kerber - as yet - and question marks around Williams gives weight to Muguruza's notion that it's anyone's tournament.

Williams has played just two ranked matches since her semi-final loss at the US Open last year, both in Auckland last week.

A clinical win over Pauline Parmentier followed by a loss to countrywoman Madison Brengle makes it hard to read Williams' form and fitness as she chases an incredible 23rd major crown.

Behind the top two, the next four ranked players - Agnieszka Radwanska, Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova and Dominika Cibulkova - are all yet to win a major tournament.

Next in the list comes world No.7 Muguruza, who broke through for her maiden grand slam success last year at the French Open.

The towering right-hander said she hoped her own preparation would hold her in good stead as she looks to claim a second major.

In Brisbane last week, Muguruza was on court for a staggering seven and a half hours across three matches - including a first-round win over Samantha Stosur - to make the semi-finals.

In the last four, she was forced to retire to Alize Cornet with an abdominal issue.

"I did have a lot of hours (on court), it was crazy," she said.

"I had great three matches and I struggled to recover a little bit because it was very tough.

"I think (my body is) not 100 per cent yet but I still have four more days to recover and I'm here with my whole team to get ready."

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