For tennis by physique, by age, by experience, and by sensations, Garbine Muguruza will arrive at the Australian Open as one of the favorites for the crown. Despite the defeat this Sunday in the final of the Yarra Valley Classic against Ashley Barty by 7-6 (3) and 6-4, the Spanish can say that she is back to aspire to everything.

She still needs to climb a step and it is the one that separates her from those who are better than her today. 640 days have passed since he last lifted a trophy (Monterrey) and more have passed, 1,235 days since he won a tournament of relative importance like Cincinnati. Muguruza could not overcome the resistance of a world number one for the fifth time in her career. He had previously done it twice with Serena Williams, once with Angelique Kerber, and once with Karolina Pliskova. Of those precedents, only one had been in a final.

Roland Garros 2016. Conchita Martinez’s pupil warned from the beginning that she was going for victory. He broke his rival’s serve already in the third game, with forcefulness in the rest within the reach of very few. Barty, a tennis player who is undeterred, hid her emotions. However, the local idol was not going to give up as easily as Sofia Kenin or Marketa Vondrousova in the previous rounds. Two ‘break’ options were made to sign the tables to two games. The tennis player from Caracas kept her income.

There was no sign of the double faults that have haunted her so much recently in moments of maximum pressure. The Australian, physically fresher after having saved the semifinal after Serena’s abandonment, knew that her options were to shorten the points and she got on with it. The tactic worked well because it made Muguruza nervous, who lost her serve. Three of the same on the scoreboard. It was the first tournament that Barty played in a year, as a result of the pandemic and he has not noticed the inactivity.

The first in the WTA ranking without making noise had chained three games like nothing to regain the lead. The champion of two greats did not wrinkle and even served to take the opening sleeve with 5-4. He failed in that situation and paid dearly because the ‘Aussie’ would take the partial in sudden death. Her cut backhand was a headache for a player as tall as the Spanish. Mobility is not their strong suit either and they pointed to the lines.

While other wardrobe mates chose to think about the future and got off the events before the first big, Garbi faces the present without fear. Play all or nothing. She is aware that much of what happens in the future depends on her.ReactionBarty took over the final and was on his way to victory with the third break in the game. It was 2-0 in the continuation and enjoyed the ball for 3-0.

His rival saved that critical situation and in a scene and not seen, equaled three games. It was a swim to die onshore because the best tennis player on the planet would win the ninth professional title. For Garbine it all started one day seven years ago in Hobart. In the Australian city, he released his record. This week has shown signs of being ready to continue winning.