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Muguruza accepts Sydney wildcard after early Brisbane exit

January 4, 2018

Garbine Muguruza of Spain is treated by medical staff after she suffered cramps in her match against Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Muguruza fell to the court behind the baseline in the third set before retiring from her opening match. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

SYDNEY (AP) — Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza has been given a wildcard entry to play in the Sydney International next week after being forced to retire from her first match of the season in Brisbane because of leg cramps.

Sydney International organizers said the addition of No. 2-ranked Muguruza brings a seventh major winner to the tournament, held in the week before the Australian Open.

Muguruza retired from her Brisbane International opener with leg cramps while leading in the third set.

She’ll join Venus Williams, U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and other former Grand Slam winners Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber and Sam Stosur in the Sydney draw.

“This wildcard is a very valuable opportunity for me get back on the court and hopefully play a few more matches before the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne,” said Muguruza, who briefly held the No. 1 ranking in September and was awarded the WTA Player of the Year for 2017.

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