Garbiñe Muguruza had pending accounts with Andrea Petkovic, the German who left her happy days behind for a long time, but who had defeated him in the three previous clashes between the two and was choking. Not this time, resolved the second match of the tournament seamlessly: 6-4 and 6-2, in 1h 29m. The Spaniard wanted to remove her thorn, in the same way that she yearns to reach an understanding with New York, a territory that for one reason or another resists her and that does not finish catching her pulse, summarized her passage in three first rounds, four seconds and eighths. That is to say, very little thing for a player of her entity and who, precisely, managed to touch the sky at this same time of year.
It was on September 7, 2017. But, of course, the culmination came under strange circumstances. It could not be otherwise. What was said: her and New York. By then, Petra Kvitova had already dismounted her from the great New Yorker, so she had to wait three days until Svitolina and Pliskova yielded, and the calculator did the rest: adding and subtracting the corresponding points, the Spanish celebrated from home the promotion to the number one. Thus, she became the fifth national tennis player to reach the top of the circuit, forming part of a select club in which only she, Aranxta Sánchez Vicario, Carlos Moyà, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Rafael Nadal appear. After having trodden the peaks of Roland Garros and Wimbledon, the zenith arrived.
“Every time I blew out the candles, the desire was always the same: to be the best. And now it has arrived ”, said Muguruza then, capable of mastering the earthly record of Paris, the dizzying Wimbledon code and also the requirements of a landscape as hostile as that of Australia, where last year he was a tris from raising his third Grand Slam. Here and there it has shone, but not in Queens. On the New York asphalt, his locker reflects almost as many victories as defeats (9-8) and the historical record indicates defeats against some rivals that theoretically should not have tripped him, in the case of Muchova (202nd), Riske (36th) or Pironkova (without ranking) in the last three editions.
“I think there is learning. I feel that now I enjoy here more and that I know the surface better, I know how to manage things better. Every time I come I try to be more positive. There is always something that affects you when you go to a place where for one thing or another you do not feel completely comfortable, but I think I have already shown other times that I can break the wall of those tournaments that did not go well at first ”, she argued after beating Petkovic, before whom she committed only 14 errors, solid in the rally and inspired by the parallel blow, especially with the right.
Change to change
“I think I have to change something so that the results here also change,” continued the Spanish, who this season won her first trophy in two years in Dubai and started like a shot, but later, damaged by several injuries, deflated . The spring puncture at Roland Garros (first round) and the subsequent one at the All England Club (third) reinforce his desire to finally shine in New York.
“I feel encouraged, trying to take away the iron from the tournament because I try to do everything perfectly, and that has made me a bit obsessed many times, and that in the matches I don’t get the best of me. I think this year, my team and I are managing it well, with good energy. Physically I am also fine, “he said before retiring to his Manhattan apartments and focusing on the crossing with Victoria Azarenka, a finalist last year.
You can follow EL PAÍS DEPORTES in Facebook and Twitter, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.