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Garbiñe Muguruza Has Decided She Will Play for Spain

Garbiñe Muguruza Has Decided She Will Play for Spain

Posted by Dubraswka Aguilar on October 17, 2014

Rising tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza has decided to represent Spain instead of Venezuela, her country of birth, in international competitions, the Madrid-based Superior Sports Council, or CSD, said Friday.

"It's been a really tough, thought-out and delicate decision because of my personal and family ties to both countries. I carry Venezuela and Spain in my blood and my heart. And I have family spread out over both countries," Muguruza, who was born in Caracas to a Spanish father and a Venezuelan mother and turned 21 last week, said.

"With my family's support, I've decided to play for Spain as of now. I want to experience the sensation of representing a country and not playing only for myself, but for everyone," the 2014 French Open quarterfinalist said.

The world No. 23, Spain's second-ranked women's player after 19th-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro, has submitted an eligibility request to the International Tennis Federation.

If accepted, she will be able to represent the Iberian nation in international competitions such as the Fed Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Miguel Cardenal, Spain's secretary of state for sports and CSD's president, said after learning of Muguruza's decision that "today is an important day for Spanish sport."

"We're sure that she'll continue to showcase her talent on the court in the future and that Spain will enjoy the contributions of one of the most promising athletes in world tennis," he said.

"I think the best interpretation of Garbiñe's choice, given the sentiments she has expressed, is that her victories should continue to be regarded as their own by both Spaniards and Venezuelans," Cardenal added.

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