21 January, 2018
Muguruza started perfectly with a break of serve, but Su-Wei hit back with two of her own to take a 4-1 lead in the opening set.
For one minute shy of two hours, the Spanish third seed and many people's Australian Open favorite blazed away in searing heat trying to solve the puzzle set by the 32-year-old Taiwanese, who had previously managed only two wins against players ranked in the top 20 in 17 years on the WTA Tour.
"I think the surface of the court, I don't know how much heat, it's awful, very, very hot, and it's easy to get blisters and red", she said.
The Wimbledon and French Open champion's quarter-finals appearance at the 2017 Australian Open remains her best result on the hard-court grand slams.
Muguruza, who withdrew from the Sydney International last week, was succumbing to both the Melbourne heat and her fearless opponent in the second set. Find us on Facebook too!
The 26-year-old Romanian world number one, seeking her first Grand Slam title, turned her ankle in her first-round win over Destanee Aiava.
Ninth seed Konta wilted against world No. 123 Bernarda Para, while world No. 3 Muguruza lost 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 to Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei.
"I know the weather is going to be a little bit tough today because I hear weather going to be over 39 degrees".
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Spaniard Muguruza, 24, came from 5-2 down against Hsieh to force a first-set tie-break but eventually lost in straight sets.
Muguruza threw everything at Hsieh but she was able to absorb it and produce some quality tennis, moving Muguruza from side to side.
"I did my job in two sets against someone that's been troubling in the past for me", Sharapova said.
Halep will next meet unseeded American Lauren Davis who defeated Andrea Petkovic 4-6, 6-0, 6-0, and Pliskova will next face No. 29-seeded Czech compatriot Lucie Safarova who defeated Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-4.
Top-seeded Simona Halep cruised to a 6-2 6-2 win over Eugenie Bouchard to keep her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title on course. I practice topspin, flat balls, slice. "The most important thing is I could play my game not thinking about the ankle". I do a little bit better today and try to hang in there. "This is the matches I'm looking forward to having, especially at the beginning of the year". "I played one of my best games".
The big match Saturday had the only two women's major champions left in the tournament playing each other - 2008 Australian victor Maria Sharapova vs. 2016 Melbourne Park champion Angelique Kerber.
No. 5 Dominic Thiem rallied to beat 190th-ranked American qualifier Denis Kudla, 6-7 (6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, and No. 21 Albert Ramos beat another American, wild-card entry Tim Smyczek.
Muguruza acknowledged that the heat was bothersome, but it wasn't the hottest conditions she'd experienced in Australia. "I want to see where I am on that level".