Garbine Muguruza Reaches First-Ever Australian Open Semifinals

Garbine Muguruzais back in a Grand Slamsemifinal…

The 26-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player and former world No. 1 defeated No. 30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-3 to reach the semifinals at the Australian Open for the first time in her career.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, a two-time Grand Slam champion, took a little more than 1 1/2 hours to eliminate Pavlyuchenkova, with both players struggling with their serves with the sun shining brightly at one end. 

It’s Muruguza’s first spot in a Grand Slamsemifinal since Roland Garrosin ’18.

After struggling for form following her 2017 Wimbledontriumph, Muguruza has looked like a player reborn at Melbourne Parksince reuniting with former coach Conchita Martinez.

Last November, Muguruza climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and got away from it all. She didn’t want to dwell on two relatively barren seasons since her Wimbledon win in 2017.

Her time on the mountain was “definitely was a life-changing experience,” Murgurza said, although she couldn’t explain how because it’s too complicated in a tournament environment.

“But it definitely had an impact on me, not as a tennis player, but just in general,” she said. “Being through such a tough challenge, I think, yeah, did many things inside of me.”

She’ll next face Simona Halep, both have already won at Wimbledon and the French Openand have been ranked No. 1, and are bidding for their first Grand Slam title on a hard court.

Conchita Martinez Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame

Conchita Martinezhas earned her placed among tennis’ greats…

The 47-year-old Spanish former professional tennis player has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Conchita Martinez

The Class of 2020 was announced Tuesday at the Australian Open, where Martinez and fellow honoree Goran Ivanisevic are coaching players who reached the quarterfinals.

Martinez, a baseliner, was the first Spanish player to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon, where she beat Martina Navratilovain the 1994 final. 

Martínez was also the singles runner-up at the 1998 Australian Open and the 2000 French Open. She reached a highest world ranking of No. 2 in October 1995 and finished the season in the Top 10 for nine years. Martínez won 33 singles and 13 doubles titles during her 18-year career, as well as three Olympic medals.

The induction ceremony will be July 18 in Newport, Rhode Island, where the Hall is located.

Ivanisevic helps coach Novak Djokovic, while Martinez works with Garbine Muguruza.

Conchita Martínez Among International Tennis Hall of Fame Nominees

Conchita Martínez may be earning a spot in the Tennis Hall of Fame.

The 46-year-old Spanish former tennis player, the first Spanish player to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon, has landed on the eight-player ballot for next year’s induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Conchita Martínez 

Martínez is eligible for enshrinement in the player category next year, as announced by the ITHOF.

“This is an exciting year for the International Tennis Hall of Fame election process, with a broad-ranging group of candidates and our first ever Fan Vote. The eight candidates on the ballot come from seven nations, and have achieved tremendous results on tennis’ biggest stages – winning Grand Slam titles and Olympic medals, and topping the world rankings,” stated ITHF President Stan Smith, who also serves as Chairman of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee.

“They’ve also each had massive impact on the sport in their home nations as trailblazers, Olympic and Fed and Davis Cup Champions, first-time Slam winners from their countries, and great ambassadors for tennis. Each has done much for the sport and I hope we’ll see their many fans turn out to vote online to support their Hall of Fame candidacy.”

In a 15-year career on the WTA Tour, Martínez won 33 singles titles and 13 doubles titles. She was the 1994 Wimbledon champion, defeating nine-time champion Martina Navratilova in the final.

She was also a finalist at the Australian Open and French Open.

Martínez reached a career high of world No. 2 and spent 190 weeks ranked inside the world’s Top 5. In addition, she was a key member of five championship Fed Cup teams and a three-time Olympic medalist in doubles.

But Martinez isn’t the only Latin player on the ballot…

Sergi Bruguera is one of the men to make the cut.

The 47-year-old Spanish former tennis player won consecutive men’s singles titles at the French Open in 1993 and 1994, a silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in men’s singles and reached a career-high ranking of 3 in August 1994.

Bruguera has been selected to captain the Spain Davis Cup team in 2018

Candidates on the ballot for International Tennis Hall of Fame induction are selected from nominations submitted by the general public and tennis community. The ITHF Enshrinee Nominating Committee, which meets annually in June, then reviews all nominations and determines the ballot. The committee is comprised of 23 individuals from around the world with expertise in various areas of the sport.

The ITHF Voting Group, which consists of tennis media and Hall of Famers, then casts their votes. To be inducted, an affirmative vote of 75 percent of returned ballots is required. Votes are tallied by an independent accounting firm.

New for 2019, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has introduced a fan vote component to the process. From Aug. 27 through Oct. 7, fans around the world are able to participate in the Hall of Fame election process by voting online at The top three vote getters in the Fan Vote will receive bonus percentage points added onto their result from the committee to determine their ultimate final result.

The candidate with the highest result in the Fan Vote will receive three additional percentage points, while second and third places will receive two and one additional percentage points respectively.

The results of fan voting will be announced at the conclusion of the voting period in early October. The overall results and the complete Class of 2019 will be announced in January at the Australian Open. The 2019 Induction Ceremony will be hosted on July 20, 2019.

Lopez to Replace Rafael Nadal for Spain’s Next Davis Cup Series

Feliciano Lopez is ready to rumble…

The 35-year-old Spanish tennis player will replace Rafael Nadal on Spain’s Davis Cup team.

Feliciano Lopez

Nadal decided to take time off after his Australian Open final loss to Roger Federer.

The Spanish tennis federation said Nadal has been dropped from Spain’s Davis Cup team because of fatigue following his five-set loss to Federer in Sunday’s final.

Lopez will now fill in for Nadal at next weekend’s best-of-five series at Croatia in the first round of the World Group.

The federation said the decision was made after a recommendation by doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro, who said Nadal’s recovery time would be too short. He said it was taken into consideration that Nadal played a significant number of matches after a four-month layoff because of a wrist injury.

“Rafa’s wear and tear in the last month was very significant,” Spain captain Conchita Martinez said. “He needs to recover from his recent efforts and certainly will be with us again in the next rounds.”

The 14-time Grand Slam champion is expected to return to action in Rotterdam from Feb. 13-19.

Nadal, ranked No. 6 in the world, helped Spain defeat India last year to secure its return to the World Group, although he missed his singles match because of the lingering wrist injury.

The other Spanish players to face Croatia are Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreno Busta and Marc Lopez.

Muguruza Makes Winning Debut in Her First WTA Finals Appearance

It’s a winning debut for Garbine Muguruza.

The 22-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player won her first match at the WTA Finals.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, the second-seed who was making her debut at the season-ending tournament, beat Lucie Safarova 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Monday.

Muguruza is the first Spaniard to play in the WTA Finals since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 2001.

“To go here, and play and win for the first time, it’s great,” Muguruza said. “So I feel now more calm, more in the tournament.”

Muguruza reached her first Grand Slam final this year at Wimbledon, losing to Serena Williams in straight sets.

She was the first Spanish woman to reach a Grand Slam final since Conchita Martinez lost the French Open final in 2000 and the first to do so at Wimbledon since Sanchez-Vicario in 1995 and 1996.

Next up for Muguruza will be Angelique Kerber in Wednesday’s evening session.

Muguruza Upsets Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon to Reach First Grand Slam Final

Garbine Muguruza is experiencing real splendor in the grass

The 21-year-old half-Spanish/half-Venezuelan tennis phenom has reached the first Wimbledon final of her career after stunning No. 13 seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 at the All-England Club.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, who was playing in her first Grand Slam semi-final, showed few signs of nerves to claim a place in Saturday’s showdown against Serena Williams, who she defeated at the 2014 French Open.

Muguruza, the first Spanish woman to reach the finals at Wimbledon in 19 years, was the youngest of the four semifinalists but played with a maturity beyond her years. There were times when Radwanska had no answer to the world No 20’s consistent ball-striking.

Radwanska, whose previously disappointing year had been turned around by her upsurge of form on grass, was playing in her third semifinal here in the last four years, but the 2012 runner-up was frequently knocked out of her rhythm by Muguruza’s big ground strokes.

Radwanska was in trouble from the very first game, in which Muguruza converted her second break point. In the fifth game she broke again as Radwanska’s attempted drop shot landed in the net. When Radwanska served at 1-5 the Pole saved two break points, but in the following game Muguruza served out to love to take the opening set in just 34 minutes.

When Muguruza went 2-0 up at the start of the second set a swift finish looked likely, but Radwanska dug deep and quickly turned the momentum around. From 3-1 up Muguruza lost six games in a row as Radwanska leveled the match and struck the first blow in the deciding set.

The key to the second set was a tight game when Muguruza served at 2-3. Having fought back from 0-30 down, the Spaniard dropped serve for the first time in the match when Radwanska forced her into a forehand error. Two games later she was broken again and Radwanska went on to serve out for the set.

In the first game of the deciding set Muguruza saved a first break point with an ace but put a forehand long on the second. Radwanska was on a roll, but Muguruza responded in admirable fashion in the following game. Hitting a series of big returns, she broke to 15 to level at 1-1.

The set then went with serve until Muguruza broke to lead 4-2. At 15-40 the Spaniard won one of the points of the match. At the end of a thrilling rally, during which she hit a stunning defensive lob, Muguruza hit a decisive blow with a backhand winner.

Radwanska clung on to her serve in the next game but Muguruza was not to be denied and went on to serve out for victory. On Sunday she will attempt to become the first Spanish woman to win the title since Conchita Martinez in 1994.

Muguruza Defeats Caroline Wozniacki to Reach the Wimbledon Quarterfinals

It’s a little splendor in the grass for Garbine Muguruza

The 21-year-old Venezuelan-Spanish professional tennis player upset former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round at Wimbledon, reaching the last-eight at the prestigious All-England Club for the first time in her career.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, seeded No. 20, defeated No. 5 seed Wozniacki in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Both players had opportunities in a tight opening set, but it was Muguruza that took hers, claiming the solitary break when the Dane framed a forehand beyond the baseline. Despite a lapse in concentration at the start of the second, Muguruza displayed her growing maturity by wrestling back the momentum, producing a brilliant game – including one inspired backhand lob – to break for a 5-4 lead, then holding her nerve to serve out the match in a fraught final game.

“It means a lot because I haven’t played a lot matches on grass, so I didn’t know how to prepare for Wimbledon,” Muguruza said. “I think it’s like the third time I play here. So for me was something new. That’s why it’s special.

With the win, Muguruza becomes the first Spanish woman to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon since Conchita Martinez – who was announced as the new Spanish Davis Cup captain on Monday – in 2001.

Muguruza’s victory means it’s guaranteed that the Wimbledon ladies’ finalist from the bottom half of the draw will be ranked outside the top 10.

Muguruza next faces Swiss No. 15 seed Timea Bacsinszky after she fought back from a set down to beat Romanian Monica Niculescu 1-6, 7-5, 6-2.

The other quarterfinal match in the bottom half will be contested on Tuesday by big-serving American Madison Keys and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska.

Martinez Named Captain of Spain’s Davis Cup Team

Conchita Martinez is ready to lead Spain’s men to victory…

Spain has named the 43-year-old Spanish former tennis star, a former Wimbledon champion, captain of its Davis Cup team.

Conchita Martinez

Martinez, the winner of 33 WTA titles during her illustrious career, replaces fired predecessor Gala Leon amid a shake-up for the tennis federation that included the government’s removing former president Jose Luis Escanuela after Rafael Nadal and several other players criticized his management style.

Martinez, already captain of Spain’s Fed Cup team, will lead the Davis Cup side until the end of year.

Martinez, who retired in April 2006, will be at the helm when Spain battles Russia on July 17.

Leon, who became Spain’s first female Davis Cup captain last year, never oversaw a match. Nadal’s coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, criticized her appointment for what he called her lack of knowledge of the men’s game.