Mugu­ruza cap­tures Wim­ble­don

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LONDON (AFP) – Gar­bine Mugu­ruza stormed to her first Wim­ble­don ti­tle and shat­tered Venus Wil­liams’ history bid with a ma­jes­tic 7-5, 6-0 vic­tory in Satur­day’s fi­nal.

Mugu­ruza over­whelmed Wil­liams with a supreme dis­play of power hit­ting in 77 min­utes on Cen­tre Court to be­come only the sec­ond Span­ish woman to win Wim­ble­don.

Watched from the Royal Box by King Juan Car­los of Spain, the 23year-old fi­nally got her hands on the Venus Rose­wa­ter Dish two years af­ter los­ing to the Amer­i­can’s sis­ter Ser­ena in her maiden Wim­ble­don fi­nal.

Fit­tingly, it was Mugu­ruza’s cur­rent coach Con­chita Martinez who was the first woman to raise the Span­ish flag at Wim­ble­don in 1994 when she de­feated Martina Navratilova.

‘‘The first set was tough. We both had a lot of chances. I’m glad I took mine,’’ Mugu­ruza said.

‘‘Two years ago I lost in the fi­nal against Ser­ena and she told me I would win one day. Here I am. Fi­nally!’’

She added: ‘‘I never knew how it was go­ing to go be­cause I was very ner­vous. I wanted it to go my way.

‘‘I was do­ing ev­ery­thing I could to be pre­pared. Once you step on the court, you see the crowd, you see the fi­nal, you see I’m here play­ing an­other Wim­ble­don fi­nal. I am very sat­is­fied the way I han­dled it.’’

Venezuela-born Mugu­ruza’s sec­ond Grand Slam ti­tle, fol­low­ing her French Open tri­umph last year, de­nied Wil­liams, 37, in her at­tempt to be­come the old­est Wim­ble­don cham­pion in the Open era.

Back in the Wim­ble­don fi­nal af­ter an eight-year ab­sence, Wil­liams had hoped to clinch a sixth All Eng­land Club ti­tle, nine years af­ter she last lifted the tro­phy.

In­stead, she paid the price for a sur­pris­ingly nerve-rid­den dis­play that con­demned her to a sec­ond Grand Slam dis­ap­point­ment this year fol­low­ing her Aus­tralian Open fi­nal loss against Ser­ena.

‘‘Congratulations Gar­bine. I know how hard you work,’’ Wil­liams said.

‘‘I tried my best to do the things Ser­ena does, but I think there will be other op­por­tu­ni­ties.’’

Since win­ning her maiden Grand Slam ti­tle in Paris, Mugu­ruza had en­dured some­thing of a sopho­more slump as her rank­ing dropped out of the top 10.

But she has re­dis­cov­ered her mojo on grass and will climb to fifth when the new rank­ings are con­firmed next week.

Re­mark­ably, of her four tour-level ti­tles, two are now Grand Slams.

With per­sis­tent driz­zle blan­ket­ing the All Eng­land Club, Wil­liams and Mugu­ruza were com­pet­ing in the first Wim­ble­don fi­nal to be­gin un­der the roof, watched by a sell-out crowd in­clud­ing Hol­ly­wood ac­tress Hi­lary Swank.

(AP)

SPAIN’S Gar­bine Mugu­ruza cel­e­brates af­ter de­feat­ing Venus Wil­liams of the United States to win the women’s sin­gles fi­nal match at the Wim­ble­don tennis cham­pi­onships in London.

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