Garbine Muguruza not too concerned about ranking: ‘It’s about enjoying my time on court and taking trophies home’

Shahida Jacobs
A pensive Garbine Muguruza

There are plenty of rollercoaster moments during a tennis player’s career and Garbine Muguruza believes she needs to be “humble”, “calm” and “focus on training” now that she has hit some twists and turns.

The two-time Grand Slam winner is coming off a poor 2022 campaign as she didn’t reach any finals while she also failed to make it to the second week at any of the four majors.

Things have not really improved so far this campaign as she is yet to win any matches having lost her opening encounters at the Adelaide International 1, Adelaide International 2, Australian Open and Lyon Open.

Her results have seen her slip to No 83 in the WTA Rankings.

The 29-year-old was due to play in the Abu Dhabi Open this week, but she pulled out at the last minute due to personal reasons.

While her form is a concern, Muguruza believes she knows what it takes to turn things around.

“I’ve had so many moments in my career where I’ve been so high, and other moments when I’ve not been so high. It’s a process of trying to get back up there,” she told The National. “Now I’m focusing on training hard and being humble.

“You have to know that maybe you haven’t had the success recently as you had in other years, but that’s fine because things can change very quickly.

“With tennis, one week it can go wrong, then next week it can go well, then everything changes again. I think experience helps me to stay calm in the not-so-good moments when I haven’t been playing as well or results haven’t followed.

“That’s where the experience comes in; to stay calm and keep working hard. And if you have to be a little more humble, that’s good too. It’s really a rollercoaster, the athlete’s career.”

Muguruza became world No 1 in September 2017 on the back of winning Wimbledon while she started the 2022 season at No 3, but her drop has been alarming.

The Spaniard, though, insists it is not about rankings, it’s about enjoying her tennis and winning tournaments.

“I feel that this year it’s more about keeping it calm and more simple,” Muguruza, whose last title came at the 2021 WTA Finals, said. “Last year I put myself under a lot of pressure, telling myself to keep going to stay at the top all the time. That definitely didn’t help me, and it was a bit of struggle.

“This year, yes ranking is important – I’ve been at every possible ranking – but that is not my priority anymore. Now it’s about enjoying my time on court and taking the trophies back home, then we’ll see what the ranking is.”