Garbiñe Muguruza wins WTA Finals

Gabriñe Muguzura

In the WTA Finals, in Guadalajara, in two match of her matches, Garbiñe Muguruza was mediocre at best. Still, in the final match, she took down a misfiring Annet Kontaveit 6-3, 7-5 to become first Spanish women to take the year-end tournament.

When Muguruza finally got some momentum, she knows that when she is focused, she could find the magic she show years ago. At times, she would get upset, and two years ago, she dropped out of the top 50. She couldn’t focus. But gradually, she got better, week after week, and while she was not perfect, she was more consistent.

“I feel like I’ve struggled the first couple of matches. One, I didn’t find the way,” she said. “The other one, I did. All of those circumstances help you to find the way, the way to play here, to find your shots, to serve, to have a game plan. Because I struggled and went through the tough times, it’s like a little progression. Sometimes it’s not like that. Sometimes it goes just worst. I feel like in this time it really helped me. Those first matches, two hours and a half on court fighting, trying to find a way, I think it paid off. I’m like, ‘Okay, I know the altitude by now. I’ve spent many hours on the court. I think, Okay, I feel much better.’ ”

As the Finals progressed Muguruza began to turn it around. She began to hustle, to return deep, and with some terrific first serves. Even beyond that, both her forehand and backhand were strong and powerful.

Finally, after the past two years when she was struggling, the two-time Grand Slam champion woke up. She was ready to dance, and celebrate after she nailed a winner.

She also beat Paula Badosa in the semis. Kontaveit, who did have a fine tournament, lost her aggression and made too many unforced errors against the Spaniard.

When Muguruza was young, when she was practicing, she was good, but she wanted to be great. So she added to her stroke variety, and she continued to think constantly.

“I think it started to change. When I was a teenager. I don’t know exactly when was the transition,” she said. “Let’s say like 17 or 16. Also because my body, I’m a tall woman, big arms, and my personality always didn’t match probably the classic Spanish game. I wanted to dominate, be aggressive, be fearless. I had to kind of change my game style. I started playing the Spanish way. I quickly figured out, ‘Hey, this is not for me. I got to step on the court and be aggressive.’ I developed this game. People don’t have to think that the Spanish style is only being further back, more defensive. Like I’m a clear example that I got to go forward.”

Muguruza is now ranked No. 3. Next year, will she be able to leap to the top of the chart, and be No. 1? It is possible. As she says, “I think it paid off.”

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