THE BIG­GER THE BET­TER

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - Contents -

Wim­ble­don cham­pion Gar­bine Mugu­ruza talks about thriv­ing in high-pres­sure matches and build­ing upon her sum­mer of suc­cess

Wim­ble­don cham­pion Gar­bine Mugu­ruza, who was named last week as the Women’s Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion’s (WTA) player of the year, is a firm be­liever in Bil­lie Jean King’s maxim that “pres­sure is a priv­i­lege.”

Ask Mugu­ruza if she likes go­ing into tour­na­ments as the favourite and the 24-yearold Spa­niard is adamant. “It’s a great thing to have,” she said. “That pres­sure ev­ery­where you go, that re­spon­si­bil­ity, I think it’s good to have it. It’s worse if you are there and no­body ex­pects you to win.”

Nev­er­the­less, those are not the sort of sen­ti­ments you would have ex­pected to hear from Mugu­ruza be­fore this sum­mer.

Un­til her Wim­ble­don tri­umph in July, she had a rep­u­ta­tion as a player who could oc­ca­sion­ally rise to the big oc­ca­sion but strug­gled to live up to her billing there­after.

The ten­nis world at large had been aware of Mugu­ruza’s ex­cep­tional tal­ent ever since she beat four higher-ranked play­ers to reach the 2015 Wim­ble­don fi­nal when

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