“It sounds very good to be the teacher of the tennis. There is no better feeling than having my name in the story“She said after receiving the trophy named after American Billie Jean King, the woman who created the tournament in 1972 and who gave it to her on the court, along with her compatriots and world women’s tennis legends, Chris Evert, who She won it for the first time 50 years ago and Martina Navratilova, who holds the record with eight titles.
Six years after being world number 1 and having won Roland Garros (2016) and Wimbledon (2017), Muguruza has returned to the top to lift “the trophy of trophies”, at 1,566 meters above sea level, in Guadalajara, where the Hispanic-Venezuelan, born in Caracas 28 years ago, assured that she felt like at home for the love of her people and the fans that have supported her since she arrived at the tournament.
And the way up to “Lift a trophy as big as a Grand Slam can be”. It has not been during the week in Mexico, nor in recent years on the circuit. The tournament did not start well. Muguruza debuted with a defeat against Czech Karolina Pliskova by 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (8), she had to overcome a set also to Czech Barbora Krejcikova (2-6, 6-3, 6-4 ) and beat Kontaveit (6-4, 6-4), to go to the semifinals and beat Paula Badosa (6-3, 6-3), in a historic duel for Spanish tennis, with all the pressure and tension that supposed that party.
“I started off on the wrong foot, but I turned everything around. At times I saw myself outside, but I told myself that if I happened I would do my best on the track ”, he admitted with pride. To achieve this, Muguruza left the queen’s crown in the dressing room and donned the overalls on the track.
That attitude is what has also allowed him to return to the elite. And he thanked his entire team “for putting up with me in bad times.” Among them, Conchita Martinez, her coach, who already helped her win Wimbledon and has been able to accompany her in difficult years when the results were not the best.
The former Wimbledon champion has reassured her, she has given her that plan B that Muguruza lacked so many times when things were not going well. It has given her resources to squeeze the potential of a tennis player who was aiming for world number 1 and to mark an era on the circuit. “I feel that I am in the best moment of my career, from experience, calm and solidity. I’m happy”, she acknowledged relieved after getting the title and surpassing Arantxa Sánchez, finalist in 1993. She is already a teacher “for once in her life”, as are Manuel Orantes (1976) and Àlex Corretja (1998) on the male circuit.
World number 3
The triumph allows Muguruza finish the season as world number 3 with 5,585 points after the Australian Ashleigth barty (1), with 7,582 and the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (2), with 6,380. The same position that the Hispanic-Venezuelan remained at the end of 2015. A success that she will share with Paula Badosa that opens in the club of the best in eighth position.
It had been 21 years since there had been two Spanish tennis players in the ‘top ten’, since Arantxa Sánchez and Conchita Martinez They did it for the first time in 1989 and stayed for nine years until the last time in 2000, starring in the best era of Spanish women’s tennis so far. Now Muguruza and Badosa they may have the opportunity to mark another great era as well.
After winning the Akron ATP Finals, Muguruza he feels capable of everything again. “Titles like this are why we are tennis players and that make me ambitious. There are still great titles that motivate me ”, stressed the Venezuelan-Hispanic already thinking about new challenges such as the Australian Open, where in 2020 she was a finalist, or that United States Open that has choked her so many times.
A tough and stressful year
But that will be another story for 2022. “This year has been stressful, very long, very hard, due to Covid, injuries, everything and now I only think about celebrating it with a tequila and a good party,” he said.
Muguruza is clear about her intentions in the coming weeks. “You will see me on the deckchair for a while”, announced willing to rest from the effort and disappear from the public scene. After the effort, it’s time to rest, go sightseeing without being recognized or climb Kilimanjaro, as did a couple of years when she was more overwhelmed to try to do a ‘reset’ in her life.
Muguruza He needs that life outside of tennis that he is so passionate about, to get away from the commitments of the sponsors, from that star catwalk, through which he likes to move so much and, which at times, have gotten in the way to achieve more success. But since Wednesday, November 17, 2021, no one will take her away from being the first Spanish teacher of world tennis.