No. 1 rank a lifelong dream for Muguruza

AFP
Karolina Pliskova's US Open quarterfinal loss to CoCo Vandeweghe ensures two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza will become the 24th woman to top the rankings in WTA history.
AFP

Czech Karolina Pliskova reacts during her 6-7 (4), 3-6 loss to CoCo Vandeweghe of the United States in the US Open women's quarterfinals at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, on September 6, 2017. The defeat meant that Pliskova relinquished her No. 1 rank to Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza hailed her climb to world No. 1 for the first time as a "dream come true" as the Spaniard will top the new WTA rankings on Monday.

Karolina Pliskova's US Open quarterfinal defeat to American 20th seed Coco Vandeweghe on Wednesday ensured two-time Grand Slam winner Muguruza will become the 24th woman to top the rankings in WTA history.

"It is a dream come true, something I always wanted since I was small," said Muguruza in a video posted on her Twitter feed.

"None of it would be possible without my family, my fans, my team, who are at the grindstone with me every day.

"I want to thank them a lot for their support. I am here thanks to them so I hope to maintain this for as long as possible."

Pliskova brushed off losing her No. 1 ranking, but said she failed to live up to her own high expectations at the US Open, Reuters reported.

Pliskova was beaten 6-7 (4), 3-6 by Vandeweghe to end her hopes of clinching a maiden grand slam title.

The big-serving Czech had previously said that being No. 1 came with additional pressure to perform at the tournament, where she lost in the final last year to Angelique Kerber.

"I don't care," she said when asked her feelings on relinquishing the rankings top spot she held for eight weeks to Muguruza.

"I don't think something is going to change if you are No. 2. I don't see any difference between this. So for me, no changes."

Pliskova never quite found her groove at Flushing Meadows this year as her ferocious serve lacked its usual bite.

The typically reserved 25-year-old even saw her temper boil over during her match on Wednesday when she threw her racquet violently to the court in disgust after hitting a forehand long to hand the first set to Vandeweghe.

"I think overall now I can say I was not playing my best tennis this tournament," she said at a news conference.

"Still made it to quarterfinals, which is pretty good.

"Just happy that this tournament is over now," she added with a smile.

She said she will take away lessons from the tournament, including learning how to win when not playing her best and how to cope with pressure.

"This pressure, what I had here, this tournament, it was something new for me. So I never felt like this before. I was never actually defending a final of a grand slam. So it was totally different," she said.

"Maybe I'm going to feel better on the next grand slams."

Pliskova's reign came with long-time world No. 1 Serena Williams absent while pregnant. The 23-time Grand Slam champion gave birth to a baby girl last week and says she plans to defend her title next January in Melbourne.

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