Garbiñe Muguruza is the first women to qualify for the WTA Finals. The Spaniard has used her strong season to date to put her in contention for the world number one ranking after the US Open, pending other results. The Wimbledon champion has really turned around her season this summer, capturing the title at the All-England Club and taking the title at the Western and Southern Open.
Muguruza’s Strong Start
It was a strong start to the season for the world number three, getting to the semifinals of Brisbane and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. She had to retire to Alizé Cornet in Brisbane and was taken out by Coco Vandeweghe.
Hard Court Struggles
The Spaniard went out to Dubai and Doha hoping to follow up some strong results Down Under, but it was not meant to be. She went out in her second match in Doha to Shuai Zhang and was stunned in Dubai by Kateryna Bondarenko. The former French Open champion found her form just a little at the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami, reaching the quarterfinals and round of 16 respectively.
The Red Clay Blues
The switch to the clay from the hard courts was no better for Muguruza. Early exits at Premiers in Stuttgart to Anett Kontaveit and Madrid to Timea Bacsinszky were worrying for the French Open champion as she was trying to find her form. She went on to make the semifinals in Rome against Elina Svitolina before retiring.
Whilst defending her French Open title, the Spaniard fell into trouble against a familiar foe in Anett Kontaveit. She dropped the opening set but rebounded to take it in three. She went out in the round of 16 to Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic in a highly emotional match as the crowd turned against her.
After a semifinal in Birmingham and an early exit in Eastbourne, many were unsure of who could take the Wimbledon title with a wide-open field. The ups and downs of the Spaniard meant she was going under the radar, despite being a former finalist. She would ride her momentum to a Wimbledon title, only dropping a set to Angelique Kerber along the way.
It was a newfound confidence from Muguruza after the title, making the semifinals of Stanford and the quarterfinals of Toronto to start her US Open hard court season. She capped off her Emirates US Open Series with a title at the Western and Southern Open. She went out in the round of 16 to an inspired Petra Kvitova, but it has still been a spectacular summer for Muguurza.