By Simon Evans
LONDON (Reuters) – Newly crowned Wimbledon women’s champion Garbine Muguruza says she would rather be ranked tenth in the world and win more Grand Slams than focus on reaching the top of the rankings.
Muguruza beat five-times champion Venus Williams in straight sets on Saturday to win her second major tournament after her triumph at the French Open in 2016.
The Spaniard went into Wimbledon ranked 15th in the world and her victory at the All England Club will push her up to fifth in the WTA Rankings when they are published on Monday.
The 23-year-old says she cares little for the ranking number next to her name, however.
“I think unless you are number one, because that is incredible… I have been number two, I have been three and failed to win a Grand Slam and there is no comparison,” she told a small group of international reporters.
“It is just having the trophy, having to have played all the matches. You have to play seven matches and you can face the one, the three, everyone.
“It is a different feeling. I don’t know what it feels like to be number one; hopefully one day I can be and I can compare but for now I’d rather be 10 and win Grand Slams than be number one,” said Muguruza, who beat Williams 7-5 6-0.
Czech Karolina Pliskova, who went out in the second round at Wimbledon, will take over from German Angelique Kerber in the top spot in the new rankings.
Muguruza says the points and calculations are far from her mind and it is the big events such as Wimbledon and next month’s U.S. Open that fire her up.
“My motivation is just to be able to be a good tennis player and come to the Grand Slams and be a threat. The ranking is temporary but it is really to be a good player and always have a chance to win a trophy.
“That is what I train for, in the gym and so on; on the days you don’t want to move, you remember, if I work hard then I might have a chance to be in a final and so then you are strong,” she said.
Muruguza’s form dipped after her first Grand Slam event victory and she hopes that this time she will be able to manage her expectations better, although she acknowledges that her attacking style can make consistency hard to achieve.
“It is difficult to deal with success. You have all these expectations. Hopefully I can just be humble, keep working and don’t expect to perform incredible every match because it is not the case. I have a very aggressive game which means that one day I can be more up or more down. Hopefully I keep it the same way.
“(After the French Open) I did put a lot of pressure (on myself) because I was feeling good and I thought ‘I wish to play like this every week’ but it doesn’t happen and so then you start questioning, get a little bit frustrated and it brings you down. Hopefully this time I can manage a little bit better.”
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Clare Fallon)