King says Mur­gu­ruza’s win her­alds a new era

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Bil­lie Jean King her­alded Gar­bine Mugu­ruza’s French Open vic­tory as a chang­ing of the guard in women’s tennis.

The Spa­niard pro­duced a stun­ning dis­play of power hit­ting at Roland Gar­ros to de­feat de­fend­ing cham­pion Ser­ena Williams 7-5 6-4 be­fore col­lect­ing the tro­phy from King.

At 22, Mugu­ruza joins two- time Wim­ble­don cham­pion Pe­tra Kvi­tova as the only slam win­ners born in the 1990s. “The chang­ing of the guard is start­ing,” said King, a 12-time Grand Slam cham­pion. “She’s the one ev­ery­one’s been talk­ing about, for two years any­way. The kid’s got such power and she wants it. Her back­hand’s just phe­nom­e­nal, and her fore­hand too.

“Twenty-two is a per­fect age. I won my first Wim­ble­don at 22. She’ll have a chance now to keep that up in­stead of win­ning big when you’re 17 and you can’t han­dle any­thing.

“You can just tell this is very good tim­ing for what she’s go­ing to han­dle off the court as well be­cause now there’s pres­sures off the court that she’s never had.”

Com­ment­ing on Williams, King added: “I don’t know if it’s phys­i­cal but some­thing’s not right. Maybe grass will pep her up a lit­tle.”

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