There’s that old saying that “form is temporary, class is permanent” when it comes to sport.
Supporters of Spanish tennis will be hoping that’s true in the curious case of Garbiñe Muguruza, whose loss of form and confidence is so severe that she is in danger of slipping out of the top ten of the WTA rankings – this is a player with four Grand Slam finals, including victories at the French Open and Wimbledon, to her name.
The bookmakers keep a close eye on the form of the players heading into the majors, and Muguruza has been lengthened to +3300 in the Roland-Garros odds 2022 for the upcoming event – that is a sign of how little faith the sportsbooks have in the 28-year-old.
It would be fair to say that 2022 has been a struggle on the court for the Spaniard. Dumped out in the last 64 of the Australian Open, Muguruza has made just one tour-level quarter-final all year, and her win-loss record on clay courts is a disappointing 2-3.
Defeat to Martina Trevisan, ranked 85 in the world, at the WTA event in Rabat last time out was confirmation of Muguruza’s fall from grace, and now she faces a race against time to find some form ahead of the French Open, which gets underway later in May.
— Lorenzo Ercoli (@Ladal17) May 4, 2022
She took a number of weeks off to recover from a shoulder injury earlier in the campaign, and that has hardly helped her progress. But the world number nine has said that she has returned ‘fresh and eager’, and her fans will be hoping that translates to better results on the court… starting at Roland-Garros.
Conchita’s Coaching Class
One of the plus points for Muguruza is that she has the classiest of operators in her corner.
Conchita Martinez is a former Wimbledon champion who also has a French Open final to her name, and so the Spaniard is perfectly placed to bring out the best in her compatriot’s game.
The hall of famer was judged as the WTA Coach of the Year in 2021, and she will have to call upon all her expertise to bring Muguruza’s game into shape… and fast.
But the pair have enjoyed a productive partnership already, with the 28-year-old winning Wimbledon while Martinez was her part-time mentor. Since the relationship became full time, Muguruza has reached the Australian Open final, won the prestigious WTA Finals and climbed back up to number three in the world rankings.
Garbine Muguruza rallies to win the second set and the WTA Finals! pic.twitter.com/FQmLzBpugl
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) November 18, 2021
Between 1989 and 2003, Martinez reached seven French Open quarter-finals, made the semis on three occasions and finally contested the final in 2000 – losing out to home favorite Mary Pierce. Her record at Roland-Garros is impeccable, and how vital it could prove for Muguruza to have such a clay court specialist in her corner.
Another Spaniard, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, reached an incredible six finals of the French Open, and so there is a long lineage of success for Spanish women at Roland-Garros. Muguruza will be hoping that with Martinez on her side, she can add another major title to her collection in Paris.