PARIS, France - 2016 Roland Garros champion Garbiñe Muguruza knows what it takes to win a Slam. The two-time major champion was challenged in her first round by No.96 Taylor Townsend, but made the adjustments and handled the pressure to secure a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 win to kick off her French Open campaign.
The win extended Muguruza's record in the first round of majors to 23-3, a winning percentage (85.5%) that puts her behind only Serena Williams (98.6%), Maria Sharapova (92.7), and Naomi Osaka (91.7%).
Roland Garros was the scene of the Spaniard's breakout run to the 2014 quarterfinals, the site of her first major in 2016, and her most consistent Slam. Since 2013, Muguruza has lost before the quarterfinal stage just once, in the Round of 16 in 2017.
Asked by reporters after her win what it takes to be a French Open champion, Muguruza said it takes something special.
"What does it take? Obviously a very complete player," Muguruza said. "I think to win a Grand Slam you don't only have to play beautiful and have great shots. It's a combination of having the X factor, because everybody plays well, but only few can win Grand Slams.
"Yeah, I think a very complete player, having the courage, having the consistency of winning many matches, dealing with the pressure of being in a Grand Slam and advancing.
"It's a puzzle that you've got to put together, and it's not easy."
With her first round win, Muguruza is now 25-5 at Roland Garros, where she had the honor of playing the first match on the brand new Court Simonne Mathieu, a unique court that is surrounded by greenhouses. Muguruza gave it high marks.
"I think my favorite will be Chatrier, because I have, every time I go there, I have my skin turns like chicken skin because I have beautiful memories.
"So I think now Simonne Mathieu is going to be my second option, because it's a cute court. It's in a very different place. You don't feel like you are around courts. It's like in a garden. It's a different feeling."
Muguruza faces Johanna Larsson in the second round.