Learning by one's mistakes important, but playing on court and sorting out what are the definite mistakes can be a no-brainer at times. "Pressure is a pain...you always have pressure and if you don't win you have pressure", Garbine Muguruza was explaining at a press conference after 2017 Western and Southern when she defeated Simona Halep 6-1, 6-0.
She'd did a few sighs and smiles admitting her condition in that match saying "I felt in control" and usually scores don't always tell the tale, but they did then at Cincinnati. She played aggressively and it paid off.
This year in 2018 was much different for Muguruza, and quite a year to push aside. She didn't defend her Cincinnati title because she lost in the first round to Lesia Tsurenko. But when she won matches it was a beautiful experience for fans and herself as she showed directed aggression and precision shots but her losses weren't always outright lacklustre performances.
Muguruza was plagued by ailments, injuries and occasional illness in this 2018 season, making it difficult for her to play her best when feeling partly well. When she was healthy, she showed her opponents who is the best player and she aggressively dismantled and destroyed their game.
The start of the season at Brisbane she had to retire because of cramping making it the third straight year she had injuries there. It was at Sydney where she was the #1 seed and defeated Kiki Bertens in the second round, then to withdraw because of physical problems.
The first grand slam 'down under' at the Australian Open usually players look forward to it, but Muguruza she though her momentum was turning positive then she lost in straight sets during the second round to no.88 ranked Hsieh Su-Wei.
This was enough for the Spaniard as she called on her former assistant coach Conchita Martinez who guided her to a Wimbledon title last year to help her with four events. The confidence and coaching by Martinez was needed and helped her reach the 2018 Qatar Total final despite losing to Petra Kvitova in three sets.
She had made the Dubai semifinals also before losing to Daria Kasatkina. It was difficult to find out the issue with Muguruza leading and then losing focus the match, as the same issue developed at Indian Wells being up a set then a loss to Sloane Stephens at the fourth round in Miami.
Muguruza's up and down season was spread with early round losses and injuries, but getting her finger on what the issue was may be a solution in the making for the new 2019 season. She did earn a title this season at the Open Monterrey in Mexico, defeating Timea Babos and came from a gruelling set down to get the title from the Hungarian player in three sets.
Then she landed in the semis at Roland Garros but couldn't defeat Simona Halep and lost in straight sets. Last month in October Garbine Muguruza played opposite Qiang Wang at the Hong Kong Open. It might have been the end of the season exhaustion or just running out of ideas how to defeat Wang, but Muguruza lost in three tough sets 6-7, 6-4, 7-5.
There had been many flip-flop rallies but it was evident that the Spaniard had run out of ideas and energy to defeat the determined Qiang Wang.