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Getting To Know... Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco

Born in Venezuela, raised in Spain and now making her mark on the WTA. Meet Miami's surprise package Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco.

Published March 26, 2012 01:39

Getting To Know... Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco
Garbine Muguruza Blanco

MIAMI, FL, USA - When the draw for the Sony Ericsson Open was made seven days ago, Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco was one of eight wildcards looking to make a mark at Crandon Park. And make a mark she has, storming into the fourth round on her WTA debut and notching up wins over Vera Zvonareva and Flavia Pennetta along the way.

After her thrilling three set triumph over Pennetta, wtatennis.com had a quick chat with Garbiñe to find out what makes the talented teenager tick.

How did you get into tennis?
GMB:
It was thanks to my brothers, who played at a tennis club in Venezuela. I started going along with them when I was about three and then started to hit a few balls. When I was six I moved to Barcelona and started to play more and more.

Can you tell us a little bit about your family?
GMB:
I'm half Spanish, half Venezuelan and was born in Caracas. My father, Jose Antonio, is Spanish, and my mother is from Venezuela and is called Scarlet. My father owns a small company in Venezuela that joins metal together, and my mother is a housewife. I also have two brothers, Asier and Igor, who are 10 and 11 years older than me; one is studying engineering and the other economics.

Who coaches you at the moment?
GMB:
I'm part of a group of 11 girls at the moment. We have six coaches, who we share, and the group is based in Barcelona. Mainly it's Alejo Manasidor and Xavier Budo, but there isn't just one coach I work with, it can be a different one each week.

How do you describe your playing style and what are your strengths?
GMB:
I try to play very aggressive and I think my serve is strong. That is what I have worked a lot on recently and I think it's the best part of my game. As I'm still young, I'm trying to work on all areas, not just my serve.

What are your goals for the season?
GMB:
I just want to work hard every day and at every tournament. But I don't like to make long-term goals, just take one step at a time and keep improving.

Did you have a tennis idol growing up?
GMB:
Martina Hingis and Serena Williams were my favorite players when I was growing up. I really loved Martina's style of play and would like to be able to play the same! Now, I look up to players like Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova as they play a similar style to me and I think I can learn from them.

What's your best tennis memory so far?
GMB:
Winning my first tournament when I was a girl. I was six and it was such an amazing feeling getting that trophy.

What is your favorite city?
GMB:
After this week, Miami! I really like the weather, the beach, although I've been so busy I haven't had too much time to do sightseeing.

If you weren't a tennis player, what job would you like to do?
GMB:
I did quite well at school, so I think I would like to study. Maybe to become a journalist, as I think I'd be good at investigating and covering the news.

What do you like to do in your spare time to relax?
GMB:
Usually, I like to hang out in Barcelona with friends, going to the beach, watching action films, music, reading and shopping. Yeah, lots of shopping, shopping, shopping!

What type of music do you like?
GMB:
Mainly English and American music - I'm not really a fan of Spanish music. At the moment I like Rihanna and David Guetta a lot.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
GMB:
Fighter.

If you could meet anyone in the world who would you like it to be?
GMB:
I'm not sure. Maybe Brad Pitt?

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
GMB:
I'm actually a good cook. When I am at home with my family I am always baking deserts, cakes and muffins for my mother and father. I like to cook things with sugar in them, which isn't the best for my training!

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