Garbiñe Muguruza will be leading the way for the home favourites at the Mutua Madrid Open in this year’s edition of the tournament. The ex-world No. 1 is bidding to provide something that thus far has been missing in the Caja Mágica; a female Spanish champion in the Manolo Santana Stadium.
Currently showing some impressive form, Muguruza arrives in Madrid third on the season’s points list. The Spaniard has made special preparations in the hope of a dream performance at the tournament.
“I’ve arrived earlier than normal to try and adapt to the technical differences in Madrid”, Garbiñe said, hoping to perform in front of her home fans. “I’ve tried to adapt as well as possible”.
Muguruza is looking to redeem herself at a tournament that has so far proven elusive. Her career return here is 6-8. Her best result came in 2018 when she reached the last sixteen, the two-time Grand Slam winner is bidding to find the key to producing her best tennis in the Spanish capital.
“It’s an accumulation of things. Maybe the expectations I put on myself of wanting to do well. Maybe my game hasn’t come together so I can arrive at the tournament better prepared. Will this be the year I play well? I always think that when I come here. Hopefully this year is better”.
What has been the key to her recent consistency? What has Muguruza changed to become a player with a chance to lift the title every week?
“There was a change when I was having a very hard time on court. I realised that there was no need to punish myself so much and have a hard time”, she recognised. “And I told myself to let whatever happens happen. I’ve been working on that for a while. I’m the first person to put myself under pressure and have high expectations of myself, it got to a point that it was affecting me so much that it was working against me. I told myself ‘I’m going to play the way I have to play. If I train well, my moment will come”, she explained.
“It was simply a case of lowering my expectations, being humble when things don’t go my way. I took everything very hard. Now I’m more relaxed in that respect, not so worried about playing 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. In that sense, I channel it now”.
Garbiñe does not set herself specific goals for a big tournament, she will take it step by step, trying to take advantage of any opportunities to get her hands on the title.
“Every year I’ve come here, I’ve played very good matches and a few have slipped through my fingers. I will be happy if I go far in the tournament. I’ve played well in previous years, I’ve had matches decided with 7-5 or 6-4 in the third set. I’ve drawn tough matches. I don’t remember exactly what my best result is here but I haven’t got very far. I’ll try and get far in the tournament, of course”.