Garbine Muguruza doesn’t step out in Manhattan much during the US Open.
Because she doesn’t want to get stepped on.
“I try not to spend a lot of time outside,” Muguruza said of her down-time in New York City. “There is a lot of people, there is a lot of noise. I always try to be in calm places. I’m happy to go to the park, but I don’t do a lot of shopping.
“I don’t walk around the city, you know. I feel like if I don’t walk, people are going to walk over me. It’s like, Man, seriously. Yeah, I do spend a lot of time in the hotel, in this tournament in particular. But, yeah, that’s my way.”
The two-time Grand Slam champion took an important first step today stomping Shaui Zhang, 6-3, 6-0, to surge into the US Open second round for the fourth year in a row.
The frenetic pace of Flushing Meadows is one reason why the 2017 Wimbledon winner has yet to go deep in New York.
The 24-year-old Muguruza raised her US Open record to 6-5 today—it’s the only major where she hasn’t reached the quarterfinals.
This year, Muguruza arrived at the season’s final Grand Slam short of match play.
Since her run to the Roland Garros semifinals, where she fell to eventual-champion Simona Halep, Muguruza has posted a mediocre 3-3 record as she’s battled a wrist injury that sidelined her for much of the US Open Series.
Injury-induced inactivity has seen the Spaniard’s ranking drop to No. 12, which is her lowest rank since she was No. 15 in June, 2017.
Muguruza says her wrist “feels much better” now and will try to step out of the shadows into the cracks of light seeping through the top quarter of the draw now that world No. 1 Simona Halep fell in the first round.
“I think because I didn’t play a lot of matches, I think because a little bit the injury. I know this is the Grand Slam where I have [not] played the best in the past, so I’m like, Listen, I’m going to go, train hard, I’m going to go every little step forward,” Muguruza said. “Every day you gain a little bit more confidence. That’s it. I try to not have a lot of expectations here, so I’m a little bit in the shadow. I’m happy to be in the shadow.”