In November 2021, Garbiñe Muguruza rose to win the WTA Finals, the Masters tournament played by the eight best tennis players in the world. Six months later, the Spanish is a shadow of the player who was champion at Roland Garros 2016 and number one in 2017, and who links two consecutive seasons saying goodbye to the tournament in the first round. This Sunday, Kaia Kanepi, a 36-year-old Estonian and 46th in the ranking, brought her down, who, oddly enough, imposed her best physical condition to win 2-6, 6-3 and 6-4 in 2h06 against a rival eight years younger, but that at this point in the season has completely lost the north.
Muguruza is on a horrific course. His record is 7-9 and he has only been able to win two games in a row once, against Cirstea and Brengle in Doha. She has been beaten by Kasatkina (26th), Cornet (61st), Kudermetova (31st), Ostapenko (13th), Riske (53rd), Kalinina (37th), Putintseva (40th) and Trevisan (85th) before Kanepi, no top-10 . She came from falling to the first exchange in Rome and Rabat, after losing in Madrid in the second round. In this campaign there has been some physical problem and respectable planning, but doubtful, with resignations from tournaments, after which he arrived in very poor shape on the ground tour.
🤦 It couldn’t be
😥 Garbiñe Muguruza is eliminated in the first round of #Roland Garros
— Eurosport.es (@Eurosport_ES) May 22, 2022
The loss in Paris, in an event where she had the second best winning percentage among active players (78.3%), is a sign that things are not going well. He also had a notable record in Grand Slam debuts (30-7 now). All this did not help her to face with more confidence a game that started very badly for her (she lost the first seven points), that continued much better (with a streak of 11 goals in a row) and that ended fatally, because she lost after enjoying two balls to put with 3-0 up in the second set and give it up despite having clearly advanced (3-1). A situation repeated in her last meetings. Kanepi helped her a lot in the first set, crashing the ball countless times into the net, but then she sharpened her aim and with her powerful physique pushed an increasingly overwhelmed Garbiñe back.who let a decisive ball pass, with an advantage for Kaia, which became a lethal break that changed the course of the match. His body language denoted anguish, and although it cannot be denied that he fought to stay in the game, in the last game he did not have enough faith to even the score and force at least the tiebreaker. In the end, he hit the clay with his racket. Another disaster that damages a brilliant career. He has to reflect and rediscover himself.
“I’ll turn it around sooner or later”
With a sad face, but without reaching tears, Muguruza offered a brief press conference after his defeat. “I ran into a very experienced rival. I think I started very well, although the first couple of games I was nervous, but I managed to turn them around and take the first set by being dominant. In the second set I had a moment when I doubted perhaps when it came to closing the match and she put on great tennis and managed to put me in a third set, which was a very good set and could have gone anywhere, I have that feeling,” said the woman from Caracas. “Yes, it’s been a difficult season. I’ve had games very much in control, which I haven’t been able to close, and it complicates it and in the end there is only one winner. But I think I’m training hard, putting in the work, playing tournaments, trying to change that and be more confident. I am not discouraged. We are playing more tournaments to put myself more in a match situation and face those moments. At some point I’m 100% sure I’m going to get out of there and get those wins that are eluding me. I’ll turn it around sooner or later.”continued.
Roland Garros WTA Draw Results