Fast 5: Garbiñe Muguruza Loves the Thrill
By James Henry
(August 13, 2018) CINCINNATI — Garbiñe Muguruza is just like you and me — albeit she is a former World No. 1 tennis player and winner of the 2016 French Open and the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.
But when the Western & Southern Open defending champion is not on the tennis court, she’s doing what most other people also do.
Her life, Muguruza said, is not that glamorous.
“So many people when they ask me questions like if I am a different person. ‘So, what do you do when you are not playing?’ And they are expecting such a glam answer. And I’m like, ‘I stay on the couch. I go to the grocery.’ I enjoy doing what most of the people do, because I never do it,” the Spaniard said.
“‘Where are you going on vacation?’ I’m like, ‘To Spain? I don’t know.’ And people are like, ‘You’re not going to Maldives?’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m not going to Maldives.’ … For us, simple things are also what we enjoy the most.”
So, what is Muguruza’s ideal vacation? Half adventure. Half relaxation.
“If I am in a towel laying in the sand for three days, I wouldn’t know what to do. You need three days of nothing, but I need something else. I’m always doing stuff. Even when I travel a lot, sometimes when I’m like two weeks in a place, I’m like, ‘OK, it’s time to go. I don’t know what to do.’ Even at home, since I was a little girl, I’m always traveling, and I enjoy traveling. Sometimes I find myself, ‘OK, we’ve been here for 10 days. What are we doing? When are we taking the flight?’ I’m always trying to do stuff.”
Muguruza added that she looks for adrenaline-inducing activities and would even like to try skydiving. But, she conceded, she now is less interested in cooking.
“I have to say I’m starting to get more cold with the cooking. I’m starting to get a little lazy,” she laughed.
“Sometimes I feel like, ‘Oh, I’m going to cook.’ And sometimes I don’t want to cook,” she said. “Before, I was a little more up for it. And now, sometimes yes, sometimes no. But it is important to do things outside (tennis), no matter what it is. Cooking was at the time something I was happy to do. With your mood, you find different things to do and to keep busy.”
Here are 5 other fast facts Muguruza shared in Cincinnati.
1. She’s feeling good: “I had to be a little bit wiser and patient to feel 100 percent and I didn’t feel that in San Jose or Montréal I was ready and I’m feeling much better for Cincinnati, for sure. … You want to play. Not playing is not a great feeling for a professional tennis player. But I’m learning. I’ve been injured before. I’ve had pain here, pain there, so it’s nothing new, but it’s hard to manage not being able to go on the court and sweat and play and perform.”
2. She has hit the reset button after losing to Alison van Uytvanck in this year’s Wimbledon second round: “It’s always disappointing to go early in a Grand Slam. I didn’t thought about it more than other tournaments. I just reset. I left London, and I said, ‘OK, it’s done, the grass, I’m starting the U.S. Open swing.’ I didn’t really thought about it. … Before I wasn’t that able. I was always a little concerned or reminding, but now I move earlier forward. I don’t stay in the past.”
3. She is focused on winning: “We lose most of the weeks, there’s only a champion and we just deal with the loss. Sometimes it’s more painful than the other ones. Of course, if you lose early, you feel like a little, eh, you’ve got to go back and work for the next opportunity. But I try to think that tennis is very good at that, because you feel like even if you lose, a lot of times, next day you have another purpose, another tournament. And I feel I put myself sometimes in other sport, that’s tougher; they don’t have the same amount of opportunities to clean the mind constantly.”
4. She’s not looking forward to the new shot clock: “I think a lot of people will struggle with that, because I know people are slower, some people are faster. I am pretty normal, I think. Sometimes you’re a little too slow, but sometimes you have a 45-ball rally. … We’ll see how I feel. But I’m sure people will be a little bit itchy.”
5. She finally is having fun during the U.S. Open Series: “Before I feel like it was never my favorite swing because the results were like, ‘I don’t know what is happening.’ And I am enjoying more and more, because before I was a little like, ‘Oh, I don’t know what is going on with this tournaments and stuff.’ But with the time I am enjoying more, because I am trying to adapt and realize, ‘Come on, it’s huge tournaments, it’s packed every day outside.’ That’s what makes the tournament good — the crowd. That’s the reason why we’re here, honestly.”