Garbine Muguruza announcement stuns tennis world amid absence from WTA tour

The two-time grand slam champion hasn't played since the Lyon Open in February.

Garbine Muguruza, pictured here after winning the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017.
Garbine Muguruza won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017. Image: Getty

Garbine Muguruza has announced she's taking an extended break from the tennis tour and will miss the French Open and Wimbledon as a result. The Spaniard, who won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017, has only played four matches in 2023 - losing all four.

She went down to Elise Mertens in the first round at the Australian Open in January, and hasn't played since a loss to Czech teenager Linda Noskova at the Lyon Open in February. On Monday, the 29-year-old revealed to fans that she's stepping away from tennis for the time being and will skip the clay and grass-court seasons.

HUGE TWIST: Novak Djokovic to No.1 after Daniil Medvedev triumph

'WHAT A JOKE': Wimbledon under fire over 'immoral' backflip

“Spending time with family and friends and it's really been healthy and amazing so I am going to lengthen this period till summer,” she wrote on Instagram. "Therefore I am going to miss clay and grass season. Thanks for all the lovely messages and will be updating you guys.”

Garbine Muguruza, pictured here in action at the 2023 Australian Open.
Garbine Muguruza in action at the 2023 Australian Open. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Muguruza famously beat Serena Williams in the final at Roland Garros in 2016 to claim her first grand slam title. She shot to World No.1 in 2017 off the back of her Wimbledon triumph, and was still ranked third at the end of 2021 - a year in which she won three WTA titles.

However she suffered a dip in form last year, and never got past the quarter-finals at any event in 2022. She sounded optimistic about being able to turn her fortunes around in Abu Dhabi in February, before withdrawing from the event and disappearing from the tour.

"With tennis, one week it can go wrong, then next week it can go well, then everything changes again,” she said. “I think experience helps me to stay calm in the not-so-good moments when I haven’t been playing as well or results haven’t followed.”

Tennis world reacts to news about Garbine Muguruza

The 29-year-old pulled out of the recent WTA 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami, and gave no clue as to when she might return. Tennis fans and commentators were taken aback by the news of her extended break on Monday.

Many said they were happy to hear she has found what she's looking for off-court, but others were left saddened that they won't be seeing her at the French Open or Wimbledon. Aussie great Rennae Stubbs commented: "If you're good enough in ANY sport, you can take a break and come back. If you are good enough you can make it back, either on the tennis tour or playing for a team. If you play well enough when you come back, you will succeed and a team will want you."

American journalist Ben Rothenberg commented: "Garbiñe Muguruza enjoying her break from tour and extending it." Jose Morgado wrote: "Good to see her finding some happiness outside the court."

with agencies

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.