Muguruza surprises a Williams for second time
Undoubtedly, Garbine Muguruza was mostly in the market for her own slice of tennis history in the Wimbledon final Saturday.
But when the 23-year-old Spaniard picked up her second Grand Slam tournament title, courtesy of a scorching 7-5, 6-0 defeat of Venus Williams, she actually altered the Williams sisters’ historical perspective as well.
Muguruza, the 14th seed, is the only player to earn a Grand Slam title at the expense of both siblings. She won her first major at the 2016 French Open, upending defending champion Serena for the title.
Muguruza scored the Wimbledon trophy against Venus, confidently winning the final nine games of the 77-minute match.
“When I knew I was playing Venus in the final, I was actually looking forward for it,” Muguruza said. “It’s great to go out there and play somebody that you admire.”
What made this victory special for Muguruza is it dims the memory of her first trip to a Grand Slam final at Wimbledon two years ago. That time she was on the losing end of the decision to Serena Williams, in straight sets.
Since that match, every time Muguruza has gone by the honor board that lists the Wimbledon champions in the Members Area of the All England Club lobby, she has felt a pang of regret.
As soon as she came off the court a Wimbledon champion, All England Club chairman Philip Brook guided her over to that very wall where her name had already been permanently added to the roster.
Seeing herself among the illustrious Wimbledon champions was overwhelming.
“It was amazing,” she said. “I always look at the wall and see, you know, all the names and all the history. I lost that final. I was close. I didn’t want to lose this time because I know the difference. I really know the difference of making a final, which is incredible, but so happy that it’s there now.”
When Muguruza initially was introduced to playing on grass, she felt as if she showed up in the wrong place. Spanish players grow up sliding around clay courts, and grass is most definitely a foreign abstraction.
“At the beginning, I didn’t like grass,” Muguruza admitted. “For sure, I suffered to play and handle it. It took me a while actually to calm down, to say, ‘Hey, it’s grass, you have to adapt to the surface.
“I did this (first) Wimbledon final, everything changed for me, because I felt like, ‘Stop complaining, your game suits this surface.’ ”
Muguruza, who has yet to win multiple titles in a year, won her lone trophy of 2016 at the French Open. The Wimbledon crown is the Spaniard’s first trophy this season and only her fourth title dating to 2014.
Also: For the first time in 25 years, the female junior champion at Wimbledon is from the USA. Claire Liu beat another American, Ann Li, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 Saturday in the final at the All England Club. In 1992, Chanda Rubin won the female junior crown.
Garbine Muguruza, left, needed just 77 minutes to beat Venus Williams, right, for her first Wimbledon title.