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Garbiñe Muguruza

Garbiñe Muguruza

Unfortunately, a virus kept me from playing how I would have liked at the WTA Premier tournament in Beijing this week. It’s one of the top tournaments in the women’s circuit and where the most points are given out, after the four Grand Slam tournaments. I was feeling sick for several days after leaving Wuhan. I wasn’t able to practice and even though I tried, the fever kept me from playing as well as I would have liked.

Spanish tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza has achieved one of her lifelong dreams: she has become the top-ranked tennis player in the world.  The title became hers after Karolina Plisková of the Czech Republic was defeated by CoCo Vandewehe of the United States (7-6 (4) y 6-3) in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open on Sept 6. Garbiñe will be officially crowned the world’s number one tennis player when the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) publishes its updated ranking on Sept. 11.

I have now had three very good weeks on the tour that will finish next week at the US Open. I decided to play in Stanford despite its coming so soon after Wimbledon and I did not regret it. Things went very well and my victory in Cincinnati is the result of all the work I have done this season, which is bearing fruit.

The life of a tennis player can be quite hectic. And that’s one thing that is both good and bad about it. When you’re struggling, you know that in just one week’s time, you’ll get another chance to pick yourself up. When things are going your way, you hardly have time to stop and celebrate.  But this time, I did want to savor every moment, because otherwise, it all slips by so quickly.

I fell in love with Paris a long time ago. It was the spring of 2013 when I went to Roland Garros for the first time. Having grown up playing on clay courts in my hometown of Caracas and then later in Barcelona, this love was only natural. It’s true that I play more aggressively than a typical clay court player due to the way I’m built, but there’s no denying that clay courts make me feel at home.

We’re now back in Europe and have arrived just in time for the start of spring. One advantage of being a professional tennis player is that you spend practically the whole year in places with good weather.  It’s a real treat!

I’m writing from Ostrava, where we’ll be playing against the Czech Republic in the first round of the Fed Cup. It is always a pleasure to get Conchita Martínez’s call and have the opportunity to represent Spain and spend a week with the team. It is quite different from the everyday grind at the circuit, the vibe is great and I really love it. We spend a lot of time together and we all feel part of something important.

Garbiñe Muguruza is ready for the first Grand Slam of the season. Still recovering from the adductor strain that forced her to retire in Brisbane, the Spaniard will take to the court for the first time in this year’s Australian Open match on early Monday morning to play against New Zealand’s Marina Eracovik. BBVA's brand ambassador has fond memories of the Melbourne courts and feels that she is in a great position to in the first big event of the year.

A tennis player's life is strange that way. When you're in the pre-season training, stuck in the same place, you start missing the airplanes, hotels and specially the competition. I had only two weeks' vacation, when, as you know, I went to Egypt –which was something I really wanted to do and was on my "to do" list– and then I spent some time just lazing on the sofa. I made the most of those days to follow the treatment for my ankle. Everything went fine and we began training straight away.

Garbiñe Muguruza will remember the 2016 season as the year of her first Grand Slam. On June 4th, the Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player beat Serena Williams to win the French Open. It was the highlight of a fairly inconsistent season in which she was forced to withdraw from several tournaments. The overall result is positive, however: “Everything that could have happened did this season, but it will help me become a better player,” she notes. This year she received her highest WTA ranking - 2nd the week of June 6th. Will 2017 be Garbiñe’s year? “No one knows what will happen in 2017. Let’s hope it will be my year again. I think this year was very good, just like last year, so I just hope to be at the same level in 2017,” she says.

So… vacation time is over and my preseason starts this very day. Gone is the 2016 season. A season that I will never forget, having won at Roland Garros and after making it for second year in a row to the WTA Finals. I’m so proud of these achievements, but they are all part of the past now, and, starting today, I’m be looking to 2017.

Garbiñe Muguruza has reached the WTA Finals in Singapore, the last tournament of the year, which pits the year’s eight best tennis players against each other. Now that she’s recovered from a twisted ankle she suffered in Linz, she will face off against Karolina Pliskova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and the reigning champion, Agnieskza Radwanska. The WTA Finals mark the end of a great year for Garbiñe, who won her first Grand Slam after beating Serena Williams in Paris.

It's hard to believe, but it’s already been a year since the last time we were here. We arrived at Singapore yesterday, and now we’re gearing up to, hopefully, do things right in the year’s last tournament. It will be extremely hard, because only the season’s 8 best players play in the WTA Finals. As you know, Serena will not be here, but the tournament is going to be just as hard.

We’ve reached the end of the season. It has been a long and demanding summer, so it was great to get the chance to spend almost two weeks at home. First, to get some much needed rest. I had been traveling for more than two months and wanted to sleep in my bed. That’s a long time to be away, with long trips, heat and hotels.

So many things have happened that it seemed like an eternity when we got back on the road for the great summer that was approaching. Unfortunately, my health started playing dirty tricks on me again and I couldn't compete in Montreal. Actually, I was eager to play because the previous week we had trained very hard, both physically and on the court, in Los Angeles and I was ready. But I couldn't, I just couldn't.

Just a little time left before the competition starts and it feels like yesterday that we were at this small housing complex in Wimbledon, last year. We’re barely at a ten-minute walk from the training courts, and that’s just wonderful.

How important is a good serve in women’s tennis? By how many percentage points does a player need to improve her serve to climb a position in the WTA ranking? Does it take a minimum number of cross-court slice backhands to beat a specific rival? The answers to these and other questions that anyone, from fans to tennis players and their coaches, may ask are nothing but the result of measurements that are very easy to take. Current Big Data technology is capable of this and much more and, properly applied, could play a decisive role in winning games, changing training plans, or tactics in real time and contributing to decision making processes.

For years, IBM has been showcasing the prowess of its ‘technological beasts’ to the world through different applications in the world of sports. In one of the most famous instances of this approach, Deeper Blue, Deep Blue’s successor, managed to defeat Gary Kasparov himself, although the outcome was somewhat controversial. Now, both the men’s (ATP) and women’s (WTA) circuits in the world of tennis have been added to the company’s scope of action.

BBVA decided to enter the world of sports sponsorship, and particularly football and basketball, because it provides a means of creating a relationship with millions of people all over the planet. The love of sport is a part of people's everyday lives, far removed from other more elitist pursuits, and which inspires passion, excitement and dreams. The Liga BBVA, the most widely followed competition in the world, and the NBA, for which BBVA is the ‘official bank’, are clear examples of competitions representing the Bank's global appeal and with massive audiences in many of the developing markets where the Group is present.

Garbiñe Muguruza’s return to competition: The Rogers Cup in Toronto will be the first tournament she plays since her successful Wimbledon campaign this year. The BBVA Ambassador, who will be departing toward Canada today, will arrive in excellent physical shape and in high spirits. Ranked 9th in the WTA Tour, she hopes to make it to the final rounds of the US Open Series tournaments leading up to the last Grand Slam of the Season.

Garbiñe Muguruza is back in competition. The BBVA Ambassador discussed the current state of affairs in the women’s circuit, and was happy to take a look back at her successful campaign in this year’s Wimbledon. But, being the winner she is, the Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player is already eyeing new challenges. The first of them will be in Toronto and the next in Cincinnati, to arrive at the US Open in optimal conditions.

The WTA ranking  is based on the 52-week tennis calendar and is updated every Monday, except during the course of the Grand Slams and Indian Wells and Miami tournaments, simply because they are two-week events.

The BBVA Chairman & CEO received Garbiñe Muguruza at BBVA's new headquarters in Madrid. Francisco González wanted to congratulate the player in person following her stellar performance during the first half of the current season and particularly for reaching the Ladies' Final in Wimbledon, where she played against Serena Williams. Muguruza is currently number 9 in the WTA ranking.

Spain had a lot to do with the birth of the modern game of tennis. Although its origins date back to the Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultures, it was a Spaniard who, with help from his English friend, invented tennis in the late 19th century in England.

Garbiñe Muguruza, who fell against US’ Serena Williams, the world’s number one, 6-4  6-4 in this year’s Wimbledon final, was just a few steps away from glory at the All England Club, like Lili Álvarez and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario years ago. Conchita Martinez remains the only Spanish female player to accomplish this feat.

Despite falling in the Wimbledon finals against the world’s top seed (6-4 and 6-4, in one hour and 22 minutes), Spanish-Venezuelan player Garbiñe Muguruza proved that she’s a worthy heir to Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario and Conchita Martínez, the two most prominent figures of the “golden age” of the Spanish women’s tennis.

Today, BBVA presented the Spanish tennis player Garbiñe Muguruza as its new global brand ambassador. The 21-year old is currently ranked 20th by the WTA, the highest spot she’s reached so far, crowning an excellent season in which she defeated the number 1 and 2 ranked players, Serena Williams and Simona Halep, and ended the year strong by participating in the WTA Finals Tournament in the doubles category.