Garbiñe Muguruza seeks her place

Muguruza, during a telematic chat.

First it was the hatching, that first Wimbledon final, in 2015; then came Paris, that perfect parable that served to knock down Serena Williams and get the first laurel, June 5, 2016; the following year she took La Catedral, with London at her feet, already as the first Spanish woman to take over the two great European tennis squares and the second to reach the world top, after Arantxa Sánchez Vicario; And later, only she knows why, she entered a long tunnel from which it took her two years to escape, until last year she found the switch in the remoteness of Australia, a finalist there too, and the world stopped below. Damn stop, he thought then, when Garbiñe Muguruza took flight again.

Now what now?

“There has been a change when I was having a very bad time on the track. I realized that it was not necessary to punish oneself so much and have a bad time ”, he said on Monday during the shift of telematic attention to the media, before undertaking another attempted assault on the Mutua Madrid Open. “I said to myself: let what has to come out come out. And I’ve been with it for a long time. I am the first to pressure myself and place expectations on myself, but there came a point where it affected me so much that it worked against me. I said to myself: I’m going to play as I have to, if I train well, the time will come, ”added Muguruza, the tennis player who came to touch the sky and today is fighting to return. Is on a good path.

From the outset, there was a strategic turn with the incorporation of Conchita Martínez to his bench. And with it, a change of attitude. More tennis, more work and better designed. Solid bases to relaunch a race between questions. After reaching number one, September 2017, the tennis player was deflated and came down to 36th place, with no joys to put in her mouth – in a period of almost two years she only celebrated in Monterrey, twice – and with a A game far removed from the one that dazzled and invited us to think of a new feminine era, with her at the forefront.

However, last year it already gave a good acceleration. The preseason advances were continued in Melbourne, where only Sofia Kenin could cut him off, in a final that actually slipped from her hands. Then, after the interruption of the circuit, he continued to get in tune and since the resumption he has been offering the version that everyone demanded of him, the happy regularity of her denies because she says, she has always said, is not her strong suit. Or it wasn’t until now.

This season, in the direction of 28 years and feeling “more mature”, inside that bubble protective that she defends, her performance has described a much more regular line, with two finals (Yarra Classic Valley and Doha) and a title (Dubai) in the seven tournaments she has played. It is, in fact, the third in the annual race that measures the cadence of the players, only behind the Australian Ashleigh Barty and the Japanese Naomi Osaka.

“The change has been simply to lower expectations, to be humble when things don’t go well. I took everything very seriously. Now I am more relaxed in that sense, not so concerned about whether I play well or badly; I can have a bad day and I don’t lose control of my emotions. Now I accept it and deal with what I have ”, says the woman from Caracas, aware that she must make an extra effort to reengage with the strongest train. Among them is Barty, the number one, and intimidates Osaka with her spectacular performance in the big ones, one a year since 2018. And behind, a squad of hungry young people.

The present now quotes him with an elusive territory, Madrid, where the eighth of 2018 is his best record. Why does the Magic Box resist him? “It is an accumulation of things. Perhaps it is the expectation that I put myself of wanting to do very well, or that my game does not quite fit here. I have played well, but some tough games did not fall on my side. I always want to do well, so this year I have come before, to try to adapt to the differences that exist. Hopefully this time it will be better ”, he wishes before jumping onto the track this Thursday (fourth turn of the session that starts at 11.00; Teledeporte) to tackle a tricky debut against Sloane Stephens (2-2 in the previous ones).

Meanwhile, Muguruza (13th in the ranking) he closely monitors the muscular problems (left leg) that got him down from Charleston three weeks ago, as a result of the overload of games; 27, in this first semester. She assures that she is well, immersed in her great objective, which is none other than trying to recover the lost ground, the site that she gave way. That place that once was his and now he claims with good arguments. Time will tell if they are enough or not.

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