The coronavirus It is here to stay, to change the paradigm of practically any area of society. In tennis it is difficult to point out the beneficiaries when many professionals are losing months of their careers, but it could be said that some tennis player has been more damaged than another. If we go to the WTA, Garbiñe Muguruza, after its end in Melbourne, is undoubtedly one of the great victims of this situation, but this has not limited its activities under any circumstances.
Garbiñe was sincere for Vogue magazine in a first-person article in which she reveals an unprecedented process for her. It begins with the germ of the situation, the unfounded suspicions and the cancellation end of American cement tour: “I was in California in late February, preparing for Indian Wells. Concentrated, the day before my manager Oliver started, he told me that there was an urgent meeting with tournament organizers about a case of coronavirus in a nearby city. I thought it would be impossible for me to cancel a news story of such magnitude, but we received the news that we did not want to hear: the tournament was canceled.
I went white, and Conchita Martínez, my coach, even more. It was a strange night, with all my team gathered, looking at us without knowing what was happening. The events fell one after another, including the most special of the year, the Olympic Games, an event in which everyone dreams of participating. That day I opened the news on my mobile and what I saw on my screen was that Trump was going to cancel all flights to Europe; we ran to book our tickets before everything started to collapse. “
Muguruza had suddenly found a reality with which he would have to live for long months. The news caught everyone off guard, with the airport closest to Indian Wells becoming a kind of player lounge. “The cancellation of two of the most important tennis tournaments suddenly seemed insignificant. We had just left, suddenly, the bubble which is the professional tennis circuit. What was coming was much more serious and great. ”
After long hours of flight and shedding a little of the feeling of nerves and uncertainty, Garbiñe took refuge in his house in front of Lake Leman, in Geneva, Switzerland. A haven of tranquility for someone who defines himself as “everything, less than one place”. “I represent a mix of cultures Wherever I go, from the stubbornness of the Basques for my father, to the Caribbean rhythms for my mother. When people ask me if I feel more like Spain or Venezuela, I have no answer. I am a citizen of the worldI love my Spanish blood and my Venezuelan blood and I am proud to represent Spain in every competition. “
In fact, the tennis player born in Caracas confesses that the experiences that have marked her the most in recent years have taken place far from a tennis court. That desire to explore and merge with other cultures, to know the world and open the perspective that a professional athlete, meticulous and focused practically 24 hours, has, has led her to travel to Africa every November for the past four years. “I have never been in one place for more than a month until now. In Africa I have appreciated simplicity and non-material wealth.
Most of the time I am surrounded by a shallow world; I do not feel identified with him, he is empty, ephemeral, lonely. In Tanzania I decided to climb Kilimanjaro and it was the hardest experience of my life, but it was the first time that such an effort was only for me and no one else. There were no cameras or checks, only the personal satisfaction of that experience. “
Garbiñe confesses, in fact, that her way of tackling confinement has been to explore new sides that perhaps she did not know: from her facet as a “student”, recovering studies (He has completed four courses: two in Nutrition and Health at Stanford University, one in Psychology at John Hopkins University and one in Exercise Sciences at the University of Colorado), until Entrepeneur: “I wanted to learn sewing and design , or continue with fashion, which I have always liked. Also improve my skills in the kitchen, and even take a paper and canvas for the first time in my life and whatever comes out comes out. “
And is that the moral that Muguruza takes from all this is that the coronavirus has given us an opportunity to discover ourselves, and in his case, to open perspectives and give him the courage to try new things: “One of my favorite phrases says that life is too big to play small. I try to apply that phrase wherever I go. I love to open up to new things, I am stubborn, and if something is not difficult or does not tickle my stomach, I do not feel alive. “