WTA Finals: Garbiñe Muguruza opens up about post-French Open struggles, talks emotions in final match of 2016

After capping off a turbulent 2016 season with a victory over a red-hot Svetlana Kuznetsova, Garbiñe Muguruza sat down with the press to talk about her on-court struggles since her historic triumph at Roland Garros,  as well as the bittersweet emotions she felt in her final match of the year.

WTA Finals: Garbiñe Muguruza opens up about post-French Open struggles, talks emotions in final match of 2016
Garbiñe Muguruza waves to the crowd after defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova in her final round robin match of the 2016 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza may not have ended her year the way she wanted at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, but capped off an up-and-down 2016 season with a victory in her final round robin match against the red-hot Svetlana Kuznetsova.

In her final press conference of the season, the Spanish number one opened up about her struggles since her historic triumph at Roland Garros four and a half months ago, and the emotions she admitted to struggling with in her final match of 2016.

Muguruza: “Going Into This Match Was Incredibly Hard”

After reeling off 12 of the last 13 games to snap Kuznetsova’s remarkable six-match winning streak, Muguruza very honestly addressed the media, implying that this was one of her most difficult matches of the season to overcome emotionally, given all the pressure she has been forced to overcome ever since she was in danger of missing the cutoff for Singapore. “Minutes before the match I was like, ‘This is going to be is difficult one for me,’” she admitted.

“At the end my desire of wanting to be here and competing against the best, was a challenge for me today to see how I was going to react. I’m very happy of the way I played today, the way I handled the match.”

“For sure a victory like today is going to keep me a little bit happier. It was a very tough tournament. I had [in the] first match a match point [against Karolina Pliskova]; then the second match [against Agnieszka Radwanska] was tough, but I felt I got my options in this one. Well, was too late, but I still did it.”

Knowing that the Russian had already qualified and she had no chance of moving out of the group stages, Muguruza admitted it was “a weird situation,” given how the year-end championships are one of just two tournaments on the regular calendar to use the round robin format.

“At the end I’m playing to secure my ranking spot, to, you know, win against these opponents also,” she noted. “So it was just tough to change the page and have a clean mind to go through this situation.”

Muguruza: “I Feel I Suffered a Lot in The Last Month”

After capping off a turbulent 2016 season on a more positive note, Muguruza openly admitted to the press that she felt she had suffered tremendously over the uncertainty of her qualification for Singapore.

“I really wanted to qualify, and then I kind of had the opportunity to go to Linz to play, and then I twist my ankle and it was drama for me,” she explained.

“I was like, I can’t believe I—you know. So it was very emotional for me to be here, and then the way the matches went I couldn't make it. I was just happy that I’ve been through it and I won the match and I’m like done.”

“Yeah, it’s been a hard year for me for sure.”

Muguruza’s Takeaways from Titanic 2016 Season

With the final chapter of her 2016 season now in the books, Muguruza was given time to reflect on her year, one that has seen her go from the highs of winning her first Grand Slam to the lows of failing to reach the third round or better at the remaining three majors. After coming into the season with high hopes and expectations, the Spaniard admitted to struggling with her confidence, before a slight shift in mindset set the tone for the clay season, where she began to regain her footing.

“I kind of calmed down and then I finally had the results, and then everything changes a little bit,” she admitted. “All these responsibilities, all these emotions. Was hard for me to deal with this for the next tournaments, but, I mean, I wouldn't change anything obviously.”

“Now I’m just thinking about it definitely. I’m here in Singapore. Didn’t make it [to the semifinals], but I won a match.”