Coming into the 2016 french open final Muguruza was up against the Serena Williams. Contested in heavy conditions, similar to the same ones which saw Muguruza defeat Williams in 2014, the Spaniard came through this match in straight sets. As she held aloft the Suzanne Lenglen trophy, everyone was lauded the newest star in women’s Tennis. With Serena a (supposed) spent force, the tennis world assume that the young woman with the big game would take over. But one thing that people never realize is how difficult it is to sustain a high level. Serena makes it look simple but with the fading careers of Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina (just to name a few), being the face of tennis can be a burden.

Muguruza got away from her natural game

After winning the French Open, instead of embracing her victory and thing that she could not go on to win other majors, Muguruza regressed and found it difficult to reproduce her best tennis. A Wimbledon finalist in 2015, Muguruza was sent out in the second round last season. As her progressed, she seemed to either be really good or really bad. Her game is built upon controlled aggression but ever since her first major title, she has become erratic. Some of her losses, (even as recent to the Vandeweghe defeat I Australia) are hard to comprehend. Granted her best surface is clay but tennis court speeds have become so uniform throughout the season that she does not have a valid excuse.

Instead of going out there and showing the lower ranked players that she is a grand slam champion, she became even more timid and that has resulted in lukewarm results.

Her passion for the game is lacking

Even before Muguruza’s French Open victory there were troubling signs. On the WTA tour, they have this thing called on court coaching.

During these coaching sessions, the coaches are required to wear a microphone so that the audience at home can hear what is being said. There were several occasions where Muguruza said that she did not want to be on the court. For someone as young as she is, the lack of motivation and fire is quite alarming. I’m sure that every tennis player has felt that way before but to actually verbalize those sentiments in completely different.

Muguruza only has one game style and that is to be aggressive. When her shots begin to fly, her shoulder slump and her entire demeanor changes. Muguruza could take a lesson from someone like a Serena in that the American could play an awful match but still finds a way to grit her way passed her opponents. It’s a steep learning curve for anyone once they reach the top of any professional sport but for Muguruza, now is the time to get a thicker skin and compete.