BARCELONA, Spain - Garbiñe Muguruza's career-best 2017 season was celebrated last night as she was named best Spanish female athlete of the year for the first time at the 70th Gala of Mundo Deportivo in Barcelona.
“I’m so happy to be here for the first time, and to receive such a beautiful recognition for such a great year is something very emotional,” Muguruza said at the Gala.
“I am very proud to have been nominated for this award. It’s a reward for the hard work.”
Muguruza took home two titles in 2017, lifting the Western & Southern Open trophy in Cincinnati and claiming the second Grand Slam of her career at Wimbledon. She also proved a force week in and week out, reaching 11 quarterfinals throughout the season.
The Spaniard capped it all off by rising to World No.1 in September, becoming just the second Spanish woman in WTA Rankings history to hold the top spot.
Even more impressive for Spain, Muguruza rose to World No.1 on September 11, the same date as Rafael Nadal - who was also recognized as Spain’s best male athlete at the gala - and the pair became the first male and female No.1s from the same country since 2003.
"I think it has been great in the last years,” Muguruza said, recognizing the quality of Spanish tennis. “Rafa is always great, and last year we also coincided as World No.1s. This is great for Spain, something undeniable with other countries."
Despite weathering a slow start to the season which saw her bow out in the second round of the Australian Open, Muguruza assured press that she is ready for her return to action in Doha.
“I feel much better; I had a few scares in Australia, which are part of the job, but the truth is that I am much better now.”