Garbiñe Muguruza officially opens its 2021 on Wednesday. Does it in the new Abu Dhabi WTA 500 in the doubles box next to the American Jennifer brady. His individual debut, yes, will arrive on Thursday and will be against the French Kristina Mladenovic (50th). Hours before returning to compete, the Spanish with the best ranking on the WTA circuit exclusively attends SPORT before his first game to review his set-up, his objectives and also his wishes for a year in which the calendar until June has already been confirmed.
I would like to start with the preseason. There have been many tennis players who have passed through Puente Romano in Marbella to carry out their preparation for this 2021. Why did you choose it?
In the end I tried to find a nice and warm place. Normally, for a few years I have done preseason in California. Not being able to travel, we decided to look for similar conditions and I think Marbella is a fantastic place.
How did you approach that ‘stage’ without knowing when the season would start?
We had a longer preseason than normal due to the uncertainty, but we faced it with a lot of patience and adaptation due to all the changes that occurred daily. We had a very good atmosphere and energy to be honest.
Conchita Martínez commented in a recent interview that you work to be more aggressive on the track. Will we see a Garbiñe playing even more on the attack?
It is always the idea. Tennis goes that way. I already am, but I think it is essential to continue working on that. We have trained in doing a more aggressive style of tennis. Insisting on shortening the points. You have to dominate in order not to be dominated.
Your last game was at Roland Garros and that was a little over three months ago. Has there been any kind of specific preparation to maintain that competitive tension after not competing for so long?
That three months have passed does not make us lose our competitive spirit. When you land on the competition site you already enter competitive mode. It comes naturally to us. Once the tournament starts and you see the competition and your rivals you get into that mode. In the end, it’s a matter of getting back to normal as soon as possible.
I imagine you arrive in Abu Dhabi with a lot of desire to compete. What do you expect from yourself in this first tournament of the year?
It is clear that the objective here is to play the more games the better after not competing for so long. Finding the match rhythm that is different from training and see if this tournament helps us go to Melbourne with some matches in our pocket. That would be the ideal.
And wanting to improve last year’s result & mldr;
Of course yes. It was an excellent tournament with a bittersweet finishing touch, but it was a tournament from which I was able to get infinite things and I will return happy to that place where I played so well.
What are your goals for 2021 if everything were to be played (Grand Slams, Olympics, Fed Cup, Wta Finals)
My goals are always the same. Win the tournaments and take home the cup. But in this difficult year, you really have to go with extreme humility because you don’t know if everything will go according to plan. Last year look at what happened and that is why this year I am going little by little.
Now there is a calendar until June & mldr;
At the moment the whole tour is being organized for the Australian Open and that is already a lot. I only think of Abu Dhabi this week and that Australian tour.
Carla recently told us that she would like to say goodbye on a track. Although it is not yet known when he will be able to return, or if there will be Games, nor is the cut to qualify very clear. Would you like to pair up with her at the doubles tournament in Tokyo?
I would be very excited to play with Carla if she returns, but we have to wait first to see how this whole year develops.
How can you mentally manage the fact that it is not known whether or not there will be tournaments, for example, in a couple of months or if there will be a break like in 2020?
It is hard not having clear dates or the certainty that it will play as we had before, but my job is to be competitive all the time and I am prepared thinking that it will play. If it is not played then we will go on vacation, but I repeat I think that we are going to play and I prepare for it.