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Muguruza: Hold Top Spot as Long Possible

Garbiñe Muguruza knows the world No. 1 ranking can be temporary, but the two-time Grand Slam champion is aiming for longevity at the top.

The 23-year-old Spaniard succeeded Karolina Pliskova as world No. 1, ending the Czech's eight-week reign in becoming the 24th woman to occupy the top spot.

More: Kerber Conquers, Mladenovic Collapses

The top seed at this week's Toray Pan Pacific Open, Muguruza told the media in Tokyo she aims to stay entrenched at the top.

“I feel of course super happy because it’s the goal of every tennis player to be No. 1,” Muguruza said. “I’m happy to be in Tokyo again holding this new number and I’m looking forward to keeping it as long as I can. When you’re top three, you’re thinking you’ve got a bronze, you’re in third position and very close because there’s only three left. When you get to two, you’re like, ‘I only have one more.’

“When you get to first, there’s nobody in front of me anymore. I’m in a very weird situation. It’s very temporary, the ranking in tennis. But it’s a great feeling.”

Muguruza, who has a first-round bye, will play either Olympic gold medal champion Monica Puig or qualifier Su-Wei Hsieh in the round of 16. Puig pummeled Muguruza, 6-1, 6-1, at the Rio Olympics last summer.

The 2020 Olympic tennis event will be staged at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum, site of the Toray Pan Pacific Open, and Muguruza said she's looking forward to an Olympic return. 

"The Olympics is something very personal,” Muguruza said. “Depending on which culture or country you are from, it can mean a lot or is just an important event. For me, when I experienced my first Olympics in Rio, I didn’t know anything. I was very excited to go out there and it didn’t go that well for me but I loved the experience.

“And the fact that it’s going to be in Tokyo, I’m happy because I’ve played here so many times. I really like the arena, I look forward to the renovation. It’s more like a team, country competition. You’re not alone.”

Photo credit: Garbiñe Muguruza Instagram