NEW YORK (Reuters) - World number three Garbine Muguruza is enjoying the relentless energy of New York but is trying to stay focused on the task at hand - finally breaking through at the U.S. Open, a tournament where success has proved elusive for her.
New York is a good fit for the 23-year-old Spaniard, who is easy with a smile off the court but unleashes a torrent of punishing ground strokes when she steps on it.
“It’s all about the balance, finding a nice spirit of competition and also enjoying a little bit of the city but not getting overwhelmed by it,” Muguruza told reporters.
“Sometimes I feel like there is a shop, like, three blocks, and three blocks is amazing, long, and so exhausted,” she said with a laugh.
Wimbledon champion Muguruza has been on a hot streak recently which has made her one of the favourites to win the U.S. Open.
Last year’s French Open champion dominated Simona Halep to win the Cincinnati Masters in the final tune-up before the year’s last grand slam in New York where she is the third seed.
“Maybe I’m more of a favourite, I guess,” Muguruza said. “But it’s nothing different. I’m happy to be back. Last major of the year and I look forward to improving on my last results.”
Muguruza was eliminated by Anastasija Sevastova in the round of 64 at last year’s U.S. Open, a tournament in which she has not got past the second round in four attempts.
“I think it’s very similar to other surfaces. I think my game is quite similar. I’m a very aggressive player, so I think hard court also helps me in that way,” she said.
First up for Muguruza is unseeded American Varvara Lepchenko, who she will face on Monday at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Editing by Ed Osmond