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TENNIS - 10 Things to know about Garbine Muguruza
Tennis - Garbine Muguruza upsets Caroline Wozniacki to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open ..
Ace and Faults 18 Jan 2014 - 13:11 / by Haresh
Tennis - Spanish woman Garbine Muguruza stole the headlines on Saturday when she knocked off the former world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the third round of the Australian Open. Muguruza came from a set down to overpower the Dane in a high-quality three set affair on Rod Laver Arena. For the casual tennis fans, not much is known about this 20 year old so we did some digging and came up with 10 little known facts about the Spaniard -
1) At the age of 6, she moved with her family to Barcelona where she spent a decade at the academy of former French Open champion Sergi Bruguera. Muguruza commented in an interview, "I’ve been through so much at the Bruguera Academy, as I started there so young. It’s always been amazing for me, I’ve always felt loved and I’ve evolved as a player there. The daily routine was tough, but a lot of fun, as you were constantly with lots of people doing something you liked."
2) Muguruza represents Spain but considers herself "50-50" Spanish-Venezuelan. In an interview, she said she was considering whether to play for Spain or Venezuela. Her mother's side is from Venezuela and she was actually born in Caracas, Venezuela.
3) As a junior, she peaked at only no. 302 in the ITF junior rankings in 2011 but did not play too many junior events.
4) Her idols while growing up included Pete Sampras, Serena Williams and Martina Hingis.
5) In 2012, in first WTA main draw appearance at the Sony Open in Miami - Muguruza defeated the then world no. 9 Vera Zvonareva in the second round becoming the equal-fastest to beat a Top 10 player (Andrea Leand and Julie Coin also beat Top 10 players in their second WTA main draw matches)
6) Muguruza is currently ranked no. 38 in the world, although she missed the entire second half of the 2013 season after undergoing surgery on her right ankle. In the first half of the year, the Spaniard reached the semi-finals at 's-Hertogenbosch and the fourth round in the Indian Wells and Miami events.
7) Her time away from the courts due to the surgery made her a bigger fighter on court, she says. "I started to play on a chair (during the recovery) and then it was a little bit more until I was like normal. I didn't expect to win a lot of matches in the second tournament of the year but I just know that I'd worked so hard before. I was like a big bull. At home I was like, if I go to the tournament I'm going to fight so much. So that's what I did.''
8) Her win over world no. 10 Caroline Wozniacki (her second win over the Dane) in the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Saturday was her 11th consecutive win on the tour. Muguruza won the WTA title in Hobart last week (her first career singles title) as a qualifier, scoring wins over Yanina Wickmayer, Kirsten Flipkens and Klara Zakopalova on the way, Her record for the season currently stands at 13-1 (lost to Venus Williams in the quarter finals of Auckland in the first week of the season)
9) She has been compared to former world no. 1 Ana Ivanovic, due to her tall frame and good looks. Muguruza commented on the comparison. `I think it's more in the aspect than in the game,'' she said, indicating her outfit. `It's so good if you compare me with her, I'm very happy.''
10) While everybody else in Spain is a football fanatic. Muguruza is not. In an interview recently, she commented, "`I'm like, don't talk to me about soccer. Messi, Messi, blah.''
WTA Rising Star Garbiñe Muguruza further enhanced her reputation as one of the game's brightest young talents by knocking out Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round of Wimbledon on Monday.
LONDON, England - WTA Rising Star Garbiñe Muguruza further enhanced her reputation as one of the game's brightest young talents by knocking out Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round of Wimbledon on Monday.
Wozniacki has never reached the quarterfinals at the All-England Club and Muguruza ensured she will have to wait at least another year to break this duck, running out a 6-4, 6-4 winner in a high-quality affair on No.2 Court.
Both players had opportunities in a tight opening set, but it was Muguruza that took hers, claiming the solitary break when the Dane framed a forehand beyond the baseline. Despite a lapse in concentration at the start of the second, Muguruza displayed her growing maturity by wrestling back the momentum, producing a brilliant game - including one inspired backhand lob - to break for a 5-4 lead, then holding her nerve to serve out the match in a fraught final game.
"It means a lot because I haven't played a lot matches in grass, so I didn't know how to prepare for Wimbledon," Muguruza said. "I think it's like the third time I play here. So for me was something new. That's why it's special.
"I went into the match very focused and prepared because I knew that she was going to try to make it a long and physical match against me. So I think I used my opportunities on the short balls to hit good shots and served well - this helps me a lot against these kind of defensive players."
Meeting Muguruza next will be Timea Bacsinszky, after she fought back from a nightmare start to defeat Monica Niculescu, 1-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Since last year's Wimbledon, Bacsinszky has notched up 48 wins to surge up the rankings. However, for the first half hour or so out on Court 18, number 49 looked a long way off, Niculescu's slicing and dicing playing havoc with her Swiss opponent's timing.
Bacsinszky dusted herself down and gradually began to solve the riddle down the other end, taking a tight second set before romping through the decider. "For a year now already, I have been playing a lot of matches and winning a lot, as well," she said. "So all these experiences made me unstressed and calm at the important moments.
"I had faith in myself. And I was believing that I could turn this match around. But I was not expecting to win. I tried to change up something. I didn't want to leave the court without giving her a tough job. So I'm glad that I made her work and that it was me with my hands raised at the end."
Garbine Muguruza beats Timea Bacsinszky at Wimbledon 2015 as Spaniard makes it to her first ever Grand Slam semi- final
- Spain's Garbine Muguruza beat Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3
[*]21-year-old Muguruza, who was born in Venezuela, had previously never made it past the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam
[*]26-year-old Bacsinszky was outclassed in two sets on No 1 Court
[*]Madison Keys or Agnieszka Radwanska await for Muguruza
By NICK HARRIS FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 15:26 GMT, 7 July 2015 | UPDATED: 18:52 GMT, 7 July 2015
Garbine Muguruza reached the first Grand Slam semi-final of her nascent career then treated No 1 Court to her sunbeam smile, a jump for joy and a victory dance.
Maybe the Spanish-Venezuelan 21-year-old has been inspired by stardust from Hollywood heartthrob Antonio Banderas.
Muguruza met him last week in the canteen when the 54-year-old ‘Evita’ and ‘Mask of Zorro’ actor came to the All England Club to watch compatriot Rafael Nadal in action.
After she saw off the challenge of Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3 to reach a last-four showdown with Agnieszka Radwanska, Muguruza described her encounter with the A-lister.
‘I just asked him 'What are you doing here?'’ she said, beaming at the memory.
‘He said he actually likes tennis. I didn’t know. He was happy to be here.
‘I was telling him that I was a big fan of his movies.
‘He was telling me that he just made a new one. He was explaining to me about the movie.
‘I was like this. [Swooning]. I was so nervous!’
Actually Muguruza, Caracas-born but now based in Barcelona with her Spanish father and Venezuelan mother, probably requires no lessons in how to carry herself, on or off the court.
She may not be a household name but make no mistake, she is going to be a star herself.
Last year when reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open by beating Serena Williams, she made the tennis cognoscenti sit up and notice.
She also made the last eight at Roland Garros this year, has risen to No 20 in the world — and now has a Wimbledon semi-final ahead.
In reaching this stage she has become the first Spanish woman since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1997 to reach the semis in SW19.
Sanchez Vicario lost to Jan Novotna back then, who in turn lost the final to Martina Hingis.
Muguruza evidently thrives on the biggest stages. ‘I woke up this morning thinking I can’t wait to play,’ she said.
‘I feel good. I'm enjoying myself, in front of a lot of people. I was having fun out there … I like to play on big courts because it's extra motivation … you feel really good.’
The first set was settled with a single break of serve, Bacsinszky scooping a forehand wide under pressure from Muguruza’s booming groundstrokes.
There was a trade of breaks at the start of the second set, then Muguruza broke again, setting up the chance with a powerful inside-out forehand winner then sealing the match with a cross court wallop to end a rally.
Asked to pick a great Wimbledon memory, Muguruza chose Goran Ivanisevic’s 2001 triumph against Pat Rafter on that rapturous People’s Monday. ‘I had fun watching it,’ she said.
She was seven at the time.
Asked what goes through her mind when she sees the winner’s trophy, she beamed again, saying: ‘Nothing special’.
She said Wimbledon itself is special because ‘all the best players are here.’
Like her, still.