Garbine Muguruza has undergone training with Spain’s Civil Guard police force

Garbine Muguruza says training with special groups of Spain’s Civil Guard police force opened her eyes to the hardships faced by vulnerable migrants trying to reach Europe.

Muguruza underwent military training with the Civil Guard after her French Open exit in October last year, taking part in helicopter rescue missions, cave diving and self-defence classes.

A post shared by GАЯВIÑE МUGUЯUΖΑ (@garbimuguruza)

“It was an incredible week,” Muguruza told reporters at the Abu Dhabi Open. “I’ve always wanted to do military training, ever since I was a kid, but the timing was never right with playing tennis.

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“We went to Mallorca to train there, and just sharing, more than actually the activities we did, which were already incredible, just sharing with them the kind of job that they do they don’t get any awards or trophies.

“It was such an experience, I loved it. It was a dream I always wanted to do since I was a little kid, so it was a great week.”

The two-time Grand Slam champion admitted that seeing migrants make sea crossings from Africa was the toughest challenge when she worked with the coast guard.

“It was quite hard because you see many people in need,” she said. “I experienced many aspects of the job and I found this one pretty tough. I love all the adventure stuff, but there is an ugly truth that they have to face and it really opened my eyes.”

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Muguruza, a finalist at the Australian Open last year, also said she had no concerns about this year’s event despite the strict COVID-19 protocols in place, which include a 14-day mandatory quarantine for players.

“I’m not really concerned, I think they’re doing an incredible job in putting all this together and making a whole swing in Melbourne,” she said.

“I think it’s going to be mentally tough to go through the protocols because nothing comes easy now. I have to prepare for that.”

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