In 1993, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario played the final of the Masters at Madison Square Garden in New York and lost to Steffi Graf. That same year, a month before, Garbiñe Muguruza was born. Paula Badosa, who on Monday celebrated her 24th birthday, had not yet come to the world. Too much time.
This Tuesday (9:00 p.m., TDP and DAZN), 28 years after Arantxa’s attempt, the two Spanish women will meet in one of the semifinals of the WTA Finals in Guadalajara (Mexico). The other will be settled by Anett Kontaveit against the winner of last night’s Sabalenka-Sakkari. One of them will have on Wednesday (02:30) the opportunity to conquer a title that a Spanish tennis player has never achieved before. In men it was conquered by Manolo Orantes (1976) and Alex Corretja (1998).
“It’s extraordinary, the last time with a Spanish woman in a final was in the year I was born … We are making history and I’m very excited to be in the semifinal after a while”, valued Garbiñe, 28 years old and fifth in the world, who already reached that round in 2015, when she was proclaimed champion of Roland Garros, but did not go beyond the group stage in the other two. Along the way, he also lifted Wimbledon 2017, rose to the skies of number one and then started a drift that has stopped next to Conchita Martínez. This year he has won in Dubai and Chicago and if he submits Badosa he will finish the year third.
Muguruza puts the Masters “on the same level as a Grand Slam.” “For me it is very important and I feel it on the track,” he says. He proved it by stopping Anett Kontaveit’s streak (12 wins in a row, 28-2 in his last tournaments) by a 6-4 double. She was only worth winning and, very seriously, she did it by claiming her level and her status as a double Grand Slam champion.
He will face Paula Badosa, with whom he has never faced. In 2015, Garbiñe was contesting the Wimbledon final. And the recent Indian Wells winner was winning the junior Roland Garros title. Who was he looking at? “My mirror was her. He broke all the schemes. Such an aggressive and dynamic game was not common. She is a different player. I am also tall (1.80 m.) And I have been very inspired by his tennis ”, acknowledged the tennis player born in New York (her parents worked there) and raised in Begur (Girona).
MUGURUZA: “IT’S BEAUTIFUL”
“It’s nice that he was able to notice me. One does not think if it is inspiring people, but when they tell you it is a great recognition “, thanks Muguruza for the compliment, which will have in front of a tennis player who has been unleashed this season by taking off a heavy backpack: “I heard so many times that I had no head to be with the best …”.
Last week, Badosa debuted in the top-ten and is comfortable in that habitat, on the big stages. “I dreamed of being here, of challenging the best and I want to win every game. I’m going to work to stay there ”, he warns. In May he reached the semifinal in Madrid and debuted his record in Belgrade. Then she reached the quarters at Roland Garros and at the Tokyo Games, where she seemed in a state of grace, only a heat stroke stopped her. Last month he hit the jackpot in Indian Wells. Your site is among the would-be greats.
The mirror in which Paula looked at herself now returns her image to her. The pulse at the top between two Spanish women, who had been waiting so long, is served.
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