Garbiñe Muguruza attends AS from Guadalajara, after a night of celebration with his team. Near her, the Billie Jean King Cup that makes her a teacher and number three in the world. “The goal of number one is always there, but now I look at it less. I prefer to touch the trophies,” she says.
Personally and professionally you can say that ‘I am happy’. What does happiness consist of for you?
In reaping the fruits after working hard, going through those bad times, suffering, enduring the bumps… This title tastes like glory after having worked with my team side by side and day by day. That’s happiness.
How was the night? Is there a hangover? ( Series) There had to be tequila! We are in Guadalajara, in the epicenter of tequila. I have fully celebrated this super victory with the team because there are very few moments like this of such quality and satisfaction. You have to enjoy it because it is very fleeting. A teacher’s degree!
What do you feel like doing now? Grab a lounger! We have suffered and gritted our teeth because of COVID, with the bubbles and the quarantines. Last year I was on a very good path with the final in Australia, I suffered a break and I wanted this year to not be the same. Now I want to slow down. It will be very good for me to do nothing, get bored until I recharge my batteries and recover physically. Sleep well, eat well, enjoy, because it has been my best season.
What did Conchita say to you these days, she who played in 12 editions of the Finals and was never able to win them? We talk about it quite a bit. He encouraged me to continue even though I started off on the wrong foot ( a three-set loss against Karolina Pliskova playing a great match), told me to remember that I was not eliminated because that’s how round robin is. And she told me quite a few anecdotes about her experience, Madison Square Garden… I did it for both of us!
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“Being here, there had to be tequila at the celebration!”
By the way, have you seen videos of Arantxa and Conchita? What do you think of that tennis? Yes I have seen. Especially from Conchita to joke with her since we worked together. There has been a very strong change in tennis style. They were incredible strategists, the resources they had for a change. Something very different from what we do today.
Did you feel before the tournament that it was this year yes or yes? Being played in Latin America happens once in a lifetime. I felt support from the first moment and motivation grew. It has been a very long season. The end of the tournament is also a relief. It has ended up being my best year and it is super satisfying.
Billie Jean King, Evert, Navratilova, Graf, Serena… They are all on a track record that already includes you. What does it tell you? ( Snort). That my name is next to him seems incredible to me, I’m still processing it. This is a very special tournament because there are only eight players, each match is experienced as a final and being part of the list of champions is incredible.
Has this year’s Garbiñe grown personally and athletically? The truth is that if. It has been a progression as a player. This year I feel much more mature. The experience of managing the bad and good moments, knowing how to drive all year round. I am much more of a friend than before.
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He is 28 years old. In this Masters you have already heard the label of ‘the veteran Garbiñe’. Does she feel that way or is it something that sounds ugly or distant to her? I don’t feel like a veteran at all! Although it is true that in this edition there have been many young and first-time girls ( only she and Pliskova repeated). I don’t feel like a rookie either, but I do feel in the perfect physical, tennis and mental moment.
Do you take better care of yourself? Also work with a nutritionist, a psychologist… Yes. When you are younger, you are also more rebellious. It is more difficult for you to control yourself and take care of these types of details. But as you progress you realize that those little things are what make the difference.
In 2017 it was launched. And the downturn came. Was there any training in which you said, ‘I’m not coming back tomorrow’ because things didn’t work out? There were two years in which I didn’t play as well. It’s not that they were completely bad, but they were hard because I was used to great results and they didn’t come. I came out stronger. In 2020 it was a shame that everything stopped due to COVID, but I already noticed a big difference in general in how to deal with things.
He has Roland Garros, Wimbledon, the WTA Finals… With the US Open and Australia, where he has already played a final, he would complete the sacred circle of tennis. Is the Grand Slam something you think about? If the truth. I like big titles and I don’t have the US Open or Australia yet. I dream big and every time I go to those tournaments I am very aware of what they can bring me. I would love to win them.
It seems that no player is capable of occupying Serena’s long-standing throne. Maybe you look prepared? I’m going for it! But right now, dominating as much as Serena can’t happen. She made big differences and now everything is more equal. Of course I would like to be there annoying and winning.
This year a friend, Carla Suárez, left the circuit after overcoming cancer. What a tear they had at the Games… Has Carla’s fortitude impressed you? Playing with Carla, having her around and seeing her example has given me great motivation and another perspective. In the Games we suffered a lot from the emotion and desire we had. We showed how we both felt. I will miss her very much because she is a great friend and an inspiration.
Spanish women’s tennis has had a good year. And it seems that good players are coming from behind. Paula Badosa said that she was inspired by you because she saw you differently… That must be nice. You don’t notice those kinds of things because you’re focused on your career and it’s really nice. When they tell you… Wow! It’s great that I can transmit those values, that with my effort they can feel inspired.
Djokovic is 34 years old. Nadal, 35. Serena and Federer, 40. Do you see yourself playing at that age? If you ask everyone at my age they would all say no, and I say the same. I don’t see myself until I’m 35 right now, but who knows…