The WTA tournament champion is enjoying a break before the 2022 tennis season commences. / efe

Garbiñe Muguruza: 'I flourish on the biggest stages'

The WTA tournament champion is enjoying a well-deserved break after a year that has been ‘complicated, but has ended very well’

JOSÉ MANUEL ANDRÉS

Garbiñe Muguruza, 28, is going through one of the best moments of her career, having become the first Spaniard to win the WTA tournament in Mexico last month.

This victory is no coincidence.

Her success has come from a great deal of physical and mental preparation, headed by her trainer, the famed ex-tennis player Conchita Martínez.

She is aware of the importance of consistency in the demanding tennis season, and is enjoying the success of her title in the WTA Finals, which crowns the best of the best.

She had a rocky start in the tournament, with a defeat at the hands of Czech Karolina Pliskova.

Forced to either win or say goodbye to the competition, Muguruza, who has already won Roland Garros in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017, rose to the challenge to achieve the greatest triumph of her career.

Muguruza explained, "I flourish on the biggest stages," showing awareness of her weaknesses but also of her many strengths under pressure.

"Perhaps from the outside the title isn’t valued as much as a Grand Slam, but those of us in tennis know that it is one of the best tournaments. It is very important for me because it brings together the eight best female tennis players of the year," she said.

Muguruza is aware of the comparisons between herself and Spain’s greats of the past, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and Conchita Martínez, especially because her own trainer was the outstanding player of the peak of Spanish women’s tennis.

When asked if we could be seeing a resurgence in Spanish women’s tennis, with Muguruza and Paula Badosa, she replied, "There is a lot of talk about Conchita, Arantxa and the golden age of Spanish women's tennis, and we are very proud."

Muguruza and Badosa faced each other for the first time in the semifinals of the WTA Finals.

Reflecting on the ups and downs of the sport, she said, "Some weeks are better and others worse, with many restrictions and a life that purely consists of tennis and rest. It has been a complicated year, but it has ended very well."

She is now continuing to take care of her physical condition and prepare to attack the 2022 season with maturity and consistency, "without fearing the pressure" of tough competitions.