The new World Number Four, Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, by way of Venezuela, is fast on her way to becoming Serena Williams’ heir to the throne for the Number 1 ranking, position of odds on favorite for grand slam titles, and all around most dominant player in women’s tennis. Of course, even three and a half years ago, when she swept through the draw at a $25K ITF in Clearwater, Florida, as a qualifier, then accepted a wildcard into the premier mandatory Sony Ericsson Miami Open where she blitzed seeds Vera Zvonareva and Flavia Pennetta en route to the 4th round as a then unheralded nobody ranked well outside the top 100 in the world, it was easy to see that Garbine had ‘superstar’ written all over her, in spades.
Of course, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the now 22 year old Muguruza, possessor of ferocious groundstrokes and a potentially lethal, and ever improving serve. A recurring, nagging ankle injury compromised most of her 2013 season, and a quick start in 2014 got away from her as she struggled to incorporate more doubles into her schedule, with regular partner Carla Suarez Navarro. Playing doubles has proved to be a good decision, as a more aggressive Muguruza has taken flight in 2015, reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open for the second straight year and backing that up with a Wimbledon final and a premier mandatory title in Beijing. It’s all falling into place for Muguruza, and the final piece of the puzzle just may be new coach Sam Sumyk, whose former students included former world number 1 and two time Australian Open Champion Viktoria Azarenka and former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard.
If Muguruza’s 2015 is any indication of what’s to come, 2016 could be spectacular from the Spaniard!