Garbine Muguruza won the 2016 French Open earlier this season, defeating Serena Williams in the tournament final. The Spaniard has done little since then and she may be doing even less in the very near future. Muguruza, who was doing well in this week's Linz draw, injured her left ankle in a match against Viktorija Golubic according to the WTA's official draw sheet for the tournament. The Spaniard withdrew from the match at the moment truth, tied 4-4 in the deciding set.

While nobody wants to be injured, if you had to pick a time for something to happen then this time of year would certainly be a candidate.

There aren't any big events left in the WTA's regular season with just the WTA Tour Finals ahead and the Australian Open still months away. The former event is one that Muguruza could still participate in, however a recent injury does cast some major doubt on her participation. The tour finals start on October 23rd and they feature the top players in the world, meaning anyone less than 100% is a likely candidate to lose a whole bunch of matches in the round-robin styled tournament.

Muguruza has struggled recently

Muguruza could be the World No. 1 at the moment if she had followed up her French Open title with the same level of intensity that she had at Roland Garros. However, the Spaniardhas dipped in form since the Paris major ended the clay-court season.

After winning the French Open, Muguruza lost to Kirsten Flipkens in the first round of Mallorca and then subsequently turned in the following results:

  • Muguruza lost to World No. 124 Jana Cepelova in Wimbledon's 2nd round
  • She lost to Monica Puig in the Olympics 3rd round
  • The Spaniard lost to Karolina Pliskova in Cincinnati's semifinals
  • Muguruza lost to Anastasija Sevastova in the US Open's 2nd round

Following the US Open, which was won by Angelique Kerber, Muguruzalost in three tournaments to players all ranked outside of the top 10 on the women's tour.The Spaniard's ranking entering this week was 6th in the world, which isn't that high of a ranking for someone who currently holds a Grand Slam title.

It is where she will stay on Monday following her exit from Linz.

If Muguruza does not play in the World Tour Finals then it would open the door for an alternate. The tournament awards direct entry to the top eight players in the world, however players ranked lower than that can participate if a top-eight player is not able to compete.

Serena Williams has been idle since the US Open and she's a candidate for non-participation in the year-end event. If Muguruza's injury is bothersome enough then perhaps the bubble to quality is 10th in the world instead of 8th.

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