Garbiñe Muguruza is not an ordinary 23-year-old. She has achieved a Grand Slam success in singles and she has also improved her ranking to inside the World’s Top 100. When the Spaniard made the 2015 Wimbledon final, it was extremely unexpected. Everyone knew that Muguruza had grown up playing on many a clay court and that she also had the explosive game to react well to a hard court surface. The success on grass was totally a new feeling to her and too many alike.
Two years on from that Wimbledon final, where she played a close two-set match against Serena, Muguruza reflected on that moment and on the way her game translates well to a quicker grass court surface.
The 2016 Roland-Garros winner explained the core differences between attempting to strategise a clay court match in comparison to a grass court one:
“I think coming from clay you have to be aggressive and also defensive a lot. You have to play with that balance. Whereas here there aren’t a lot of choices. The bounces are very difficult sometimes and it is super quick. You have to go for your shots, be aggressive and points are really short compared to clay court. It is a little bit more explosive.”
Secondly, Muguruza tried to explain how the positives of a grass court worked well aligned with her own game.
“I think so. Always the first time I come to grass I don’t understand how I made that final at Wimbledon and then once I start playing I kind of feel more comfortable. I have a feeling that even if you are comfortable you never know what can happen on this surface.”
The obvious difference between Roland-Garros and Wimbledon for Muguruza is the difference in expectation and the stark contrast in pressure. Roland-Garros is ‘her’ slam, where she expects the maximum for herself on the clay surface, and it is a tournament where she achieved her greatest result. Wimbledon is a little different. It is special, but she understands the weight of expectation is not as great as what she would have felt during the defence of her title just weeks ago in Paris.
“It was a new situation for me. I was with a lot of pressure over there. I managed to win three matches and lost in a tough match, but I’m happy with the way I handled.”
If Muguruza can find her better tennis and play with the same reckless abandon that took her inside the World’s top five , she can make a huge impact on the WTA draw at Wimbledon.
Main Image (Getty):