Mystery leg problem bothering Mauresmo at Australian Open
2 hours, 52 minutes ago
MELBOURNE, Australia, (AFP) - Amelie Mauresmo is hoping a mystery leg injury will not derail her best ever start to a Grand Slam.
The French fourth seed powered into the last 16 Friday by swatting aside Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour.
But the 24-year-old French world number four, who is chasing her first Grand Slam crown, suffered a scare late in the second set when she needed lengthy treatment for soreness in her lower left leg.
Mauresmo revealed afterwards that she had been suffering from the problem for a few days and that the nature of the complaint had mystified her team.
"It bothers me a little bit and I will really try to take care of it, but I don't really know where it comes from or what it is, so it's difficult to say," she said. "It's the first time I've had this."
Whatever the problem with her leg, it did not stop Mauresmo from wrapping up victory emphatically against Medina Garrigues, the 21-year-old world number 70 from Valencia.
Mauresmo oozed confidence as she completed her win, sealing victory with a perfectly executed drop shot.
This year's women's tournament has been decimated by withdrawals of top players, with last year's winner Serena Williams (news - web sites), former champions Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles and Mary Pierce all pulling out.
Mauresmo, who reached the final here in 1999 only to be beaten by Martina Hingis, has acknowledged that she has an excellent chance of breaking her Grand Slam duck.
"This is the best start I've ever had in a Grand Slam," said Mauresmo, who reached the quarter-finals at both the Australian and US Opens last year.
"I'm thrilled with how it's going and my average level of play is going up," she said.
Although Mauresmo has not received the attention during her career of other players on the women's circuit, the Frenchwoman feels she is not far away from the top bracket.
"I think a few things are coming together," Mauresmo said. "I've got the best ranking I've had. I hope it's going to keep going higher."
Mauresmo will now play Australia's Alicia Molik in the next round. Molik advanced to the fourth round for the first time after being Luxembourg's Claudine Schaul.
"I don't think we've every played against each other, but obviously she's playing well," said Mauresmo. "It's going to be an interesting match."