This Wednesday was not a good day for Garbiñe Muguruza. The Spanish once again showed that she is not going through her best moment of form and fell in her debut at the Rome tournament against Yulia Putintseva in a duel that she had totally controlled and that ended up losing 3-6, 7-6 (4) and 6-1 in 2h.17′.
The game was strange, with constant ups and downs on the part of both, and with a very tense moment. In the first game of the second set, Muguruza went up to the net with a very simple half-court ball for the Kazakh, who had the entire court to pass the WTA Finals champion.
Despite the multiple options she had, Putintseva chose to hit her rival, who immediately criticized her action.
The game continued without any more shocks, but the play was still in the head of the Spanish, who coldly greeted his rival after the game.
The ‘teacher’ does not find the solution to her ills, which are aggravated by the lack of confidence with each elimination that adds up. Above all, and it is not the first time that it happens, if it occurs after having touched victory with the fingers.
The Spanish, 28 years old and world number 10, let slip a match in which he came within two points of victory in the second set, serving at 5-4 and 30-0. He suffered the ‘break’ (5-5), he was overwhelmed making big mistakes in the ‘tiebreak’ that ended up leading to a third set that he faced with low morale.
The leathery rival punished the Spanish with many drops, but it was this one that fell apart after not finishing the classification. He lacks confidence in a campaign in which he has more losses, seven, than successes, six.
If in Madrid, where he reappeared after a break due to a shoulder injury, he recognized that the pressure of playing at home, the desire to do well betrays her every time; Rome presented itself as a good opportunity, telling that it has been a semifinalist three times, in 2016, 2017 and 2020.
He had the match under control, but Conchita Martínez’s pupil lacked that extra that gives a positive dynamic. He didn’t have it to seal the win after making a good effort to come back from 1-3 down in the second set, he lacked the ability to react to come back. He fell apart. And in front of him he had a guerrilla, a tennis player who clings to everything that can change his future for the better.
Putintseva went to the round of 16, against the Tunisian Ons Jabeur, champion of the WTA 1000 in Madrid, after turning around a clash that had in the background the noise of a helicopter that was watching the Olympic Stadium where the Cup final between Juventus and Inter was going to be played, at nine o’clock at night. The soccer ‘tifosi’ were also heard as they approached a stage near the Foro Italico tennis court, which is part of the Olympic complex.
The nightmare does not stop for Garbiñe Muguruza, who even took a vacation after Indian Wells in her beloved Africa to give herself a physical and mental break. Tenth in the world, she could fall out of the top-10 of the world ranking. It will be automatic if the American Jessica Pegula advances to the quarterfinals or if some player who comes from behind rules in Rome. Bad symptom for Roland Garros, which opens on Sunday, May 22.