Garbiñe Muguruza kicked off 2020 ranked outside the Top 30, but determined to climb back to the top. Armed with a new coach and a new mindset, the impressive results that followed catapulted her to No.2 on the Porsche Race to Shenzhen.
The former World No.1 announced during the off-season that she would begin working with fellow Spaniard Conchita Martínez, a former Wimbledon winner once ranked as high as World No.2. The pair had meshed well in the past, with Martínez helping to guide Muguruza to her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2017 along with former coach Sam Sumyk.
By the start of the season, the partnership was promising to be successful once again. Muguruza debuted at the Shenzhen Open, where she reached her first semifinal of the year - by contrast, in 2019 Muguruza reached just one semifinal in total, at Monterrey in April. Muguruza then followed it up with a quarterfinal run in Hobart.
But the best was yet to come as Muguruza landed in Melbourne, unseeded and ready to make her mark. By the end of the fortnight, Muguruza had reestablished herself as a top threat, returning to the final of a Grand Slam for the first time since 2017. Along the way, she took down No.5 seed Elina Svitolina, No.9 Kiki Bertens, and No.4 Simona Halep - all in straight sets.
After reaching back-to-back quarterfinals in Dubai and Doha, Muguruza returned to her home in Switzerland as the tour was suspended due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Spaniard has done anything but sit still during her time off, throwing herself into more creative ventures with the same tenacity that she dedicates to tennis. Muguruza has emerged as a growing force on TikTok, taking on several viral dance challenges and showing off her rhythm.
Muguruza also penned a poignant column for Vogue España, where she chronicled her experience in quarantine. It was the player’s first experience writing an article, and she tackled questions about her identity, and her future goals outside of tennis.
But tennis is still Muguruza’s No.1 priority, and she was quick to return to practice on the courts in Geneva once it was safe. And she’s had a top practice partner, too, with Swiss ATP star Stan Wawrinka joining her on occasion.
Now that Muguruza has reassembled her team, training continues in earnest as the Spaniard gears up to return to WTA competition.
Check out the provisional schedule here, and stay tuned for more spotlights on Porsche Race to Shenzhen contenders.