Over the last 14 months tennis has been a bit stop/start but despite the break, Garbine Muguruza has looked like a player finding her best once more.
You can take it back to last years Australian Open, Muguruza made the final but lost to Sofia Kenin. Even at this years Australian Open the Spaniard had a very big impact on the court and could have had a bigger one.
Moments just haven’t swung her way, that 2-2 game against Kenin when she had three break points but the American turned on the style to survive a break and then this year Muguruza had two match points against Naomi Osaka who of course went onto win the title, what could have been?
Muguruza hasn’t at any point suffered from a hangover and there does seem to be a more ruthless and composed feeling about the Spaniard. Muguruza in the last few weeks has gone onto make the final in Qatar and has now won her biggest title since 2017 winning the WTA 1000 event in Dubai.
I do think a big part of this resurgent Muguruza over the last 12-14 months has been a big influence from Conchita Martinez. There seems to be a mixture of enjoyment and no nonsense feeling around the camp which is something that has been missing.
Conchita Martinez has not been there however the last few weeks, she missed the trip to Qatar due to a positive Covid-19 test and then Dubai as well. Despite being thousands of miles away she has remained in contact via FaceTime. Whether it has been practice or a match she has been “court side” virtually throughout the two weeks.
This week in Dubai will do Garbine the world of good, wins over Swiatek, Sabalenka, Mertens and then Krejcikova in the final sealed her first WTA 1000 since she won Cincinnati in 2017, the same year she of course won Wimbledon.
The big title has been coming, there have been too many signs over the last year for it not to be on the horizons and now the question is, what next?
Muguruza will be looking to make an impact in Miami, she did in 2012 on her debut at Crandon Park when she was just 18 and it was the first big event she played. Muguruza made the fourth round in 2012 and has made the fourth round on four occasions but never made the final eight.
I really do hope we see her make her big mark on the clay courts, Rome is a happy hunting ground, her home in Madrid has never been a happy visit winning 5 of 12 matches over 7 years. We can’t forget in 2016 she did win at Roland Garros so has that experience on the Parisian clay which included wins over former champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and in the final, Serena Williams.