Mugu­ruza blows Venus away

Con­tender wins maiden Wim­ble­don ti­tle af­ter deny­ing Wil­liams a fairy-tale vic­tory by beat­ing ten­nis icon in straight sets

CityPress - - Sport - TOBY DAVIS sports@city­press.co.za – Reuters

Gar­biñe Mugu­ruza clinched her first Wim­ble­don ti­tle yes­ter­day with a stun­ning 7-5, 6-0 de­mo­li­tion of Venus Wil­liams, whose dreams of a vic­tory at the age of 37 were blown apart in a dev­as­tat­ing sec­ond set.

Af­ter some tense early ex­changes, the Spa­niard cut loose, win­ning nine straight games to claim her sec­ond Grand Slam ti­tle af­ter she won last year’s French Open.

The 23-year-old fell to the floor in cel­e­bra­tion af­ter clinch­ing vic­tory in an hour and 17 min­utes. It was her sec­ond Wim­ble­don fi­nal, but she lost to Venus’ sis­ter Ser­ena on the same stage in 2015.

“Two years ago, I lost in the fi­nal to Ser­ena and she told me one day I was go­ing to maybe win and, hey, two years later, here I am,” she said in a court­side in­ter­view.

When asked if she had a mes­sage for her coach Sam Sumyk, who is ab­sent as his wife is ex­pect­ing a baby, she held the tro­phy aloft and said: “Here it is.”

In the first women’s fi­nal played un­der the Cen­tre Court roof, a high­qual­ity first set grad­u­ally built to­wards a cap­ti­vat­ing con­clu­sion.

It in­cluded sev­eral tests of nerve for the bat­tling Spa­niard, who showed an al­most iron will not to give an inch even as Venus upped the ag­gres­sion lev­els with fe­ro­cious in­tent.

Mugu­ruza saved three break points, which in­cluded two ten­sion­filled set points in the 10th game, the first of which saw the Spa­niard emerge with a clenched fist from an epic 19-shot rally.

It was then her turn to go on the of­fen­sive. She crafted her third break point of the set when Wil­liams net­ted a fore­hand, and took her chance when the Amer­i­can sent a sec­ond fore­hand long af­ter an­other lengthy ex­change.

She took the first set when Wil­liams net­ted a back­hand and then put her foot to the floor.

She broke on three straight oc­ca­sions in the sec­ond set as Wil­liams seemed to hit a men­tal and phys­i­cal wall.

When the five-time win­ner could barely get her racket to a vi­cious fore­hand, it gave the Spa­niard three match points, but, in keep­ing with a messy sec­ond set, she needed two Hawk­eye chal­lenges to put the be­lea­guered icon out of her mis­ery.

As the score­board showed the ball had bounced out at 40-30, she dropped her rac­quet and fell to the ground.

PHOTO: MATTHEW CHILDS / REUTERS

BRU­TAL Spain’s Gar­biñe Mugu­ruza on her way to clinch­ing the Wim­ble­don ti­tle yes­ter­day

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