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By Chris Oddo | Friday July 14, 2017

With her head coach Sam Sumyk at home with his wife, who is expecting a child at any time, Garbiñe Muguruza has teamed up with 1994 Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez at Wimbledon and reached her third career major final.

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There have been rumblings among the press corps about what the arrangement, and Muguruza’s success at Wimbledon, could mean for the status of Sumyk and Muguruza’s longtime and often turbulent relationship.

But Muguruza has been quick to point out that while Martinez has been very helpful for her at Wimbledon, she’s not the magic bullet that has opened the door for Muguruza and shown her the light on grass.

“Well, I think I'm here because I've done a hard work before,” Muguruza said in her pre-final press conference on Friday at Wimbledon. “The magic doesn't happen just because somebody comes in, and all of a sudden you are incredible. No.”

Muguruza, who says that Sumyk remains instrumental to her tennis, and is in contact with her every day, says that Martinez has helped her manage her emotions and preparations during a busy and stressful time.

“I think she's helping me how to deal with the tournament, because obviously it's a Grand Slam, and it's difficult to handle because it's two weeks,” Muguruza said. “She has experience. But, you know, it's the work that I've been doing with her here and before with my previous team, and everything together, it's working.”


And let us not forget that it was Sumyk who guided the Spaniard to her first major title last year at Roland Garros. There have been ups and downs for the 23-year-old since then, but the fact that she has reached three Grand Slam finals in three seasons certainly bodes well for her future.

“We talk every day,” Muguruza said of Sumyk. “I think he's important. He's part of my team, in the distance right now. We talk about the match, everything. Every day as a team, everybody adds their own little thing, even if he's far.

“Conchita and Sam are really working together. They are in contact. Before I do something, they both decide. … I think a lot of things are clicking also with her and the team this week, so it's very nice.”

No matter who calls the shots, schedules the practices or analyses the statistics, it is ultimately Muguruza who has executed her game to near perfection here at Wimbledon. Like her opponent in Saturday’s final, Venus Williams, Muguruza has only dropped one set. The first set of her round of 16 battle with Angelique Kerber marked the only time that the Spaniard has dropped more than four games in a single stanza.


She’s been poised under pressure, consistent from the baseline and patient in her attack. Muguruza has the power to end points early and on her terms, but here at Wimbledon she’s played with a lot of margin and hit to safe zones of the court rather than pursuing outright winners.

Unlike 2015, when the grass felt very foreign to her, she has looked comfortable on it this year, often stretching left or right impressively to counterpunch.

It all adds up to a more confident Muguruza.

“I feel much more calm, kind of controlling more my emotions than the last time,” she said. “I think it's a good moment right now. It goes very fast. So I'm trying to enjoy. The previous times, you know, you're so concentrated that you cannot enjoy as well.

“I know tomorrow I'm looking forward a lot to go on the court. Last match here. Try to change things after the last two years. That's it. Just trying to enjoy also.”

 

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