Garbiñe Muguruza walks away from tennis: “Right now, I have no plans of coming back”

The Spanish pro athlete hasn’t played since January and isn’t planning a return anytime soon

Garbiñe Muguruza
Garbiñe Muguruza speaks to reporters at the Chamartín Tennis Club in Madrid on July 5, 2023.AFP7 vía Europa Press (AFP7 vía Europa Press)
Alejandro Ciriza

Garbiñe Muguruza has been on an indefinite break from tennis since January. In a surprising interview with Women’s Health magazine, she revealed that she doesn’t miss the pro circuit at all and is very happy. She’s in no hurry to return anytime soon, nor has she thought about next season yet.

“Right now, I have no plans of coming back,” said the former top-ranked player in the world. “My plan is to just sleep, rest, spend time with loved ones and make up for lost time... I’m not really thinking beyond what I’m doing today, tomorrow, and this week, you know? And as for how I’m feeling about taking this break that I announced back in mid-April, I must say I’m really enjoying it. I was just so tired of the pressure and being judged by the media and experts every week. So, this break is exactly what my body and mind needed. I’m genuinely loving every moment of it.”

Muguruza played her last match on January 30 – a loss in Lyon (France) against Linda Noskova, then ranked number 56 in the world. Soon after, she announced that she would take a break until the summer. But things changed, and by late spring she realized that she wouldn’t be competing this season. She needed a detox – zero tennis. “I’m not doing anything related to tennis on a regular basis,” she told Women’s Health; “I keep up with friends who are players and occasionally play for fun – nothing intense. I’m taking a real break and trying to stay away from the courts.”

Muguruza now enjoys dancing Zumba and recently took part in a large event in Málaga (Spain). She plays some paddle tennis, goes for walks and stays active, but tennis is no longer her focus. “My body has actually changed since I’m no longer competing. Nowadays, I focus on staying in shape without pushing myself to the limit. I make sure to hit the gym regularly, usually a few times a week. I absolutely enjoy lifting weights and balance it out with some Zumba, Pilates, yoga, and even boxing for cardio. It’s great to have the time for all these activities that I couldn’t do when I was training for tennis,” she said. Muguruza says she doesn’t pay the slightest attention to her tennis ranking, which is currently number 1,038 in the world.

A rare tennis moment in Azkoitia

Muguruza, who recently turned 30, has made the most of her time off by attending the Seville Fair in April and the San Sebastián International Film Festival. She has also spent hours exploring the beautiful Andalusian coast and enjoying nature. She went to Madrid in July to receive the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit at the Chamartín Tennis Club. At the event, she told reporters, “I took a brave step hitting the brakes – it wasn’t easy. But I’m happy I did it. I haven’t set a date for a comeback just yet, but it definitely won’t be this year because I want to spend time with my family. It’s not a permanent farewell or anything, just a year off to recharge. It’s not really the competition I miss, but I do miss that feeling of winning. Right now, my main goal is to rest up and unwind.”

The winner of the French Open (2016), Wimbledon (2017) and the Masters Cup (2020) has only been spotted playing once recently. In July, she visited the small town of Azkoitia (northern Spain) with her father José Antonio, who moved to Spain from Venezuela in 1978. Accompanied by 250 young players, the two inaugurated an indoor tennis facility named after Muguruza.

Muguruza and her partner, Arthur Borges, at the closing gala of the 2023 San Sebastián International Film Festival.
Muguruza and her partner, Arthur Borges, at the closing gala of the 2023 San Sebastián International Film Festival.Raúl Terrel / Europa Press (Europa Press)

“I don’t want to think about a date because then you don’t rest mentally. I want to come back when I really feel like I’m ready,” she said in Azkoitia. She no longer craves the adrenaline of being an elite athlete. Instead, she embraces a lifestyle she never knew existed since leaving for Barcelona at the age of seven to launch her tennis career. The only thing she misses is the camaraderie of her pro tennis friends.

The next step will be a very special one. In 2024, Muguruza will marry Arthur Borges, the man she’s been with for the last two years. Meanwhile, she continues to delicately pluck the daisy, supported by her inner circle, yet granted the freedom to make her own decisions. “It’s all up to her – the decision is solely Garbiñe’s,” they told us. One thing is crystal clear – she won’t be making a comeback anytime soon.

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