Tributes to Spanish star Garbiñe Muguruza rolled in ahead of the Mutua Madrid Open, this year’s first WTA 1000 clay-court event, which takes place in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Former World No.1 Muguruza announced her retirement from tennis on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Muguruza won 10 WTA singles titles, including 2016 Roland Garros, 2017 Wimbledon and the 2021 WTA Finals, and her peers recognized her skill and character while at the top of the game.

Paula Badosa, who became the first Spanish woman since Muguruza to crack the Top 5, called her compatriot an “example,” as she looked back on what Muguruza meant to their country and the tour at large.

“[Muguruza] changed, also, the Spanish game,” Badosa said. “She was very aggressive, so it was a game that I could see myself there. She meant a lot and she was one of my idols. I saw her win Grand Slams and being World No.1, then at the end we had chances to practice a lot and share moments together.”

Garbiñe Muguruza and Paula Badosa share a hug after their semifinal match at the 2021 WTA Finals. Muguruza won that match 6-3, 6-3, then defeated Anett Kontaveit in the following day’s final.


In 2021, Muguruza and Badosa both qualified for the season-ending WTA Finals, which was the first time two Spanish women had made the year-ending championships since Conchita Martínez and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario both qualified in 2000. Muguruza and Badosa faced off in the semifinals, where Muguruza triumphed en route to the last WTA singles title of her career.

“I’m sad that the match in Guadalajara, she played unbelievable, so I had no chance,” Badosa recalled with a laugh. “But still it was nice, and it was a beautiful moment we had for Spanish tennis. The last time that we had the opportunity to have two Spanish players in the WTA Finals was with Conchita and Arantxa, so it was a special moment for both of us.”

World No.1 Iga Swiatek also found Muguruza to be a compelling presence on tour. The three-time Roland Garros champion marveled at Muguruza’s ability to translate her game across both natural surfaces.

“When I was younger, I was looking at her achievements when she won Roland Garros and Wimbledon,” said Swiatek. “I was kind of thinking maybe she’s going to be my favorite WTA player, because I always liked Rafa [Nadal]but I never really had anybody on WTA to follow.

“Garbiñe was actually one of them for a while. And then I kind of started playing on tour, so it was pretty weird to be fangirling about anybody,” Swiatek added with a laugh. “She’s a great player, a nice person.”

Garbiñe Muguruza and Iga Swiatek wrap up a practice session at 2022 Dubai.


More of the current Top 10 stars echoed these sentiments ahead of this week’s prestigious Spanish tournament.

“[Muguruza] is just a nice woman, and she’s had such an incredible career,” said reigning US Open champion Coco Gauff. “I think she has the ability to play great tennis at any moment. Even if she lost first round the week before, the next week she could very much win the tournament. I think she’s definitely going to be missed by the sport, and especially amongst Spanish fans.”

This year’s Australian Open finalist Zheng Qinwen called Muguruza a “legend,” adding that “when she had her best level, she’s a really good player. I think there are not [many] players, for the moment, that can win Roland Garros and Wimbledon at the same time.”

“Two Grand Slams, World No.1, WTA Finals, one of the most marketable players,” said last year’s Madrid semifinalist Maria Sakkari. “[Muguruza] had an amazing career, and she has all the right to enjoy now, and just live her life and do what she feels is best for her. I feel like a lot of girls might feel the same way for her.”


Leave a Reply