Former world No. 1 Garbiñe Muguruza made the difficult decision to withdraw from her home tournament on Thursday, announcing she would miss the Mutua Madrid Open due to a persistent left thigh injury.
“We’ve been working hard to recover and to be OK for the tournament," she said in a statement. "I arrived a week early to adapt because I really wanted to do well this year in Madrid, at home and in front of my fans."
Muguruza began the 2021 season in fine form, reaching four finals and winning her eighth career WTA title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Sadly, Garbiñe Muguruza has withdrawn from the #MMOPEN due to muscle injury in her left leg.— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) April 29, 2021
Get well soon, Garbiñe. We're just as saddened as you are, we were so excited to see you play in the Caja Mágica again.
The 2016 French Open champion began her clay-court preparation at the Volvo Car Open, where she won her first match before retiring from a set up against Yulia Putintseva citing a left leg injury.
"The problem has come back and the last [MRI] scan confirmed that I’m not 100% recovered to be able to compete and the medical recommendation is to rest.
“It’s not an easy decision and it’s a huge disappointment. I’d like to thank the tournament for all the hard work they’ve done to make it possible for us to have this event this year in these circumstances. I hope it’s a great tournament and that the fans in Madrid and at home watching on TV can enjoy it. Next year I’ll be even more excited to try again."
Muguruza had been more optimistic about her chances earlier in the week, discussing a search for balance after a hectic—albeit successful—start to her season.
"It's busy now especially because there is so many big tournaments coming," she said in her pre-tournament press conference. "I feel like they're all very packed now back to back, especially two Grand Slams. I'm just trying to get as many relaxed hours and time and try to disconnect. I played many matches, a lot of traveling, plus the bubble, plus everything. It's about being more aware of the free time, I would say."
Muguruza will be replaced in the draw by lucky loser Danka Kovinic, who reached the final in Charleston and will take on former US Open champion Sloane Stephens later this afternoon.