In the off season Garbine Muguruza wanted a “challenge outside of tennis” so she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. In an on court interview she said only do if you are strong “up here”. She spent her time off in Africa but has spent the last couple of years in the wilderness of women’s tennis.
She almost didn’t make it to Melbourne as she was unwell and almost went home in round one. Muguruza found herself on the wrong end of a bagel against Shelby Rogers but recovered to win twelve of the final thirteen games and as we know made it to the final.
Muguruza made a change following a difficult 2019 season to change her coaching team. Sam Suymk left and Conchita Martinez returned.
A successful trip and life changing trip up Kilimanjaro and a returning coach who she has had a winning record with, Muguruza meant business.
We have seen the return of some of the best tennis of Garbine Muguruza over the last couple of weeks and it has set the standard for herself in 2020.
I hope that her tournament isn’t remembered for the ending where she double faulted to defeat but the positives from the fortnight. Her fighting spirt and level of tennis was exceptional throughout the tournament.
I have been critical in the past and that’s because I like Muguruza and what she brings to the court and tennis always leaves you wanting more. For two years now her highlight was winning in Monterrey which to no disrespect was not the level you’d expect but in sport there are ups and downs and this run in Melbourne was a major milestone.
This isn’t the only milestone you’d potentially expect from Muguruza.
She has now set out her stall for the season.
Muguruza has always come across as a level headed person who never gets carried away and this season will be like a process for her. Bringing back Conchita Martinez is a smart move. There will be expectations but I do expect a more comfortable Spaniard on court.
Muguruza conquered Kilimanjaro and you just wouldn’t rule a climb to the summit of women’s tennis once again. I think women’s tennis is in a fantastic place right now with the quality, variety and level throughout producing deserved winners and Muguruza has been there and done it.
I think taking herself away from tennis was an incredibly smart move from Garbine. When a player is in a difficult run of form sometimes the worse thing you can do is keep at it and a break is required.
We will have to wait and see what happens but I hope for big things this year from Muguruza.