World No. 3 Garbine Muguruza blamed a COVID-19 outbreak in her support team for disrupting her preparations for the first Grand Slam of the season as she was dumped from the competition 6-3, 6-3 by unseeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet on Thursday.

“It’s been a pretty stressful start of the year also with my team,” Muguruza said.

“They all got COVID before coming here. We were for 15 days apart.

“It was hard for me for the preparation to come to the Aussie, swing and play and perform well. That was tricky a little bit.

“Physically here I wasn’t also feeling my best. It was a kind of stressful start of the year.

Garbina Muguruza fell to France’s Alize Cornet in straight sets. Photo: KARL WINTER

“I’m okay always to train by myself and I like it. But it’s a tricky part of the year also.”

Muguruza was well below her best against Cornet, who put the pressure on her opponent from the start, breaking Muguruza in her first service game.

The Spaniard improved in the second set before Cornet broker her again in the sixth game – a position she never looked back from.

“My serve wasn’t there. I think my shots weren’t there also. Tactically I think I wasn’t doing the right decisions either,” Muguruza said afterwards.

Cornet will face either Britain’s Heather Watson or Tamara Zidansek from Slovenia in the third round.