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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday August 30, 2021

Garbiñe Muguruza has historically struggled at the US Open, but the former World No.1 isn’t let her past dictate the present this year in New York. Muguruza notched an impressive 7-6(4), 7-6(5) victory over former World No.19 Donna Vekic on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

“It was a very tough first round,” Muguruza said after the match. “I think Donna, probably seeded player in recent years, so having to play her in first round was, you know, difficult and I could see it on court. I knew it was two close sets that I was happy to close in the tiebreak, which can go any way at that point. Yeah, excited to get this win and to be able to be in round 2.”

Muguruza improves her career record to 8-8 at the US Open, which is a far cry from her strike rate at the other three Grand Slams. The Spaniard is 73-24 at the other three majors, but hopes that her luck will improve this year at the US Open, where she has never reached beyond the round of 16, and only moved past the third round once in her eight previous appearances.

She will face either Andrea Petkovic or Irina-Camelia Begu in her second round match at the Open.

“I feel like I have always came super prepared and for whatever reason, I don't know, my game didn't click,” Muguruza said. “But I don't think about that now. Every year I come, I'm like, You know what? That doesn't matter. It's a new year. Nobody remembers, nobody cares what happened in the past.

“I guess I just have to go through the first rounds, which I didn't manage to do before, I guess, and then get the confidence in playing in these courts.”

Asked if she had learned to relax and not let the frantic New York City environment get to her, the 27-year-old said: “I think that's my approach. At the beginning it took a lot of energy for me just to be in New York and handling everything. And with the years, I don't know, I learned a little bit more. I learned how to enjoy this event, which is, try to stay in a positive way, not only see what's the things that might bother me.

“I'm definitely different now than when I played the first couple of times. I don't know if that's gonna mean that it's gonna go well, but I at least suffer less being in New York now than when I was 18.”