WTA Finals champion Garbine Muguruza kickstarted her Australian Open campaign with a solid 6-3, 6-4 victory over Frenchwoman Clara Burel on Tuesday.

“I never lose the motivation. There’s always ups and downs as an athlete,” Muguruza said.

“The crowd makes a big difference. When it’s behind you, you feel like fire and feel excited. I’m so happy that this year we have a crowd here.”

Burel stated well and at 3-3 in the first set, look to be giving Muguruza a match, but the Spaniard soon took control with three breaks as her 20-year-old opponent made 17 unforced errors.

A volley from Muguruza gave her the breathing space in the second set and although three match points were wasted at 5-2, she steadied to take out the match.

Spain’s Garbina Muguruza in first round action. Photo:KARL WINTER

“I’m a winner and I’m so motivated here, especially the early rounds,” she said.

“You know you’re nervous and you want to get through these matches where everybody can beat everybody. Very happy now I could manage to finish 6-4 in the second set.”

The Spaniard will meet another Frenchwoman, Alize Cornet, the second round.