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Muguruza: Great Emptiness

Communication can be cathartic.

Garbiñe Muguruza opens up on the physical and mental challenges of life without tennis during the coronavirus in an article she wrote for Vogue Spain.

Watch: Rafa Returns to Practice

The two-time Grand Slam champion was in Indian Wells with coach Conchita Martinez and her team preparing to play the BNP Paribas Open in March when the first cases of COVID-19 hit Palm Springs.

The Australian Open finalist, who has been spending the sport's shutdown at her home in Switzerland, shares the isolation and loneliness she's felt without tennis.

"When I planted myself in my house confused and without any plan, I know: Now what?" Muguruza writes. "Have you ever wondered and now what do I do to entertain myself?

"My life, in which I am used to a frenetic pace of travel, pressure and physical effort, has been stopped from one day to the next. I was not prepared, especially for the great emptiness that I felt when I could not do what I know best: play tennis. And especially, she was not prepared not to be able to fill that time with anything that compares to her."

The former world No. 1 says this is the longest break she's had from the sport since ankle surgery nearly a decade ago.

"Did you know that I have never been in the same site for more than a month? I am breaking a record," Muguruza writes. "The last time was when I had ankle surgery and I couldn't walk for several months. That is almost a decade ago."

Tennis Express

The coronavirus-induced sabbatical from the sport has given the 26-year-old Spaniard perspective on life after tennis.

"Since I was three years old, I have lived with the racket in hand for and for a single purpose," Muguruza writes. "When all that disappears due to force majeure, life elbows you and says to you: 'Hey, there are many more things than tennis, maybe it is a good time to prepare for when that day comes.' For when you have to hang up your racket."

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve