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tennis

Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza joins Rafa Nadal at the top of world tennis

For the first time ever, two Spaniards dominate the ATP and WTA respectively

Nadal and Muguruza, in a Twitter photo.
Nadal and Muguruza, in a Twitter photo.

For the first time ever, two Spanish tennis players occupy the first places in the male and female world rankings. On Monday, Garbiñe Muguruza will officially go to the number one position after Karolina Pliskova lost in the quarter finals of the US Open, while Rafael Nadal, who has held the position three times previously, dominates the ATP following Roger Federer’s defeat at the hands of Argentina’s Juan Martín Del Potro.

Muguruza, who turns 24 in October, joins an elite of Spanish tennis players to be ranked world number one: Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, in 1995, and Carlos Moyá and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

“It’s a dream come true, it is what I have always wanted ever since I was little, each time I blew out the candles, each time I imagined something,” said Muguruza in a video on her Twitter account.

Born in Venezuela, Muguruza moved to Spain in 1999 at the age of six. Her rise to the summit comes after her second Grand Slam title, which she won at Wimbledon in July, beating Venus Williams in the final. She had previously won Roland Garros in 2016, when she became just the fifth woman to defeat Serena Williams in a major final.

Muguruza looked likely to take the top position in women’s tennis from Pliskova when she arrived in New York for the US Open. But her defeat at the hands of Petra Kvitova meant her fate depended on Pliskova’s performance against Ukrain’s Elina Svitolina, once Romania’s Simona Halep had lost in the first round to Russian player Maria Sharapova.

Muguruza is only the second Spanish player to hold the title since 1995, when Arantxa Sánchez Vicario was crowned women’s number one on February 6. The winner of four majors, three Roland Garros and the US Open, she held the position three times for a total of 12 weeks: Muguruza’s objective is not to beat that figure.

“It’s a dream come true, it is what I have always wanted ever since I was little, each time I blew out the candles, each time I imagined something,” said Muguruza in a video on her Twitter account. “None of this would have been possible without my family, without my fans, without my team, which is there everyday chipping away with me,” she added.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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