VENUS’ WIMBLEDON RUN COMES TO AN END, MUGURUZA SOARS TO SECOND GRAND SLAM TITLE

Written by: on 15th July 2017
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Wimbledon Championships
VENUS' WIMBLEDON RUN COMES TO AN END, MUGURUZA SOARS TO SECOND GRAND SLAM TITLE

epa06089382 Garbine Muguruza of Spain with the championship trophy following her victory over Venus Williams of the US (R) in the women's final of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 15 July 2017. EPA/NIC BOTHMA EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES  |

By Ricky Dimon

 

Venus Williams did amazingly well to reach her ninth Wimbledon final, but she did not have quite enough to capture what would have been a sixth title at the All-England Club. A red-hot Garbine Muguruza stood in Williams’ way and got the best of the 37-year-old 7-5, 6-0 on Saturday afternoon.

 

Although Williams certainly brought more experience with her into the championship match, Muguruza was already no stranger to the big stage. The Spaniard is a former French Open champion (2016) and had previously contested a Wimbledon final (lost to Serena Williams in 2015). She played like a seasoned veteran against Venus, improving as the contest progressed and committing a mere one unforced error in the entire second set.

 

Venus Williams of the US returns to Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the women’s final of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 15 July 2017. EPA/NIC BOTHMA

The turning point came with Muguruza serving at 4-5 in the opener. Williams earned a double break point opportunity at 15-40, but she netted a forehand on her first chance and Muguruza served big thereafter to shut the door.

 

“(I) definitely would have loved to have converted some of those points,” Williams lamented. “But she competed really well. So credit to her. She just dug in there and managed to play better.”

 

At that point the 23-year-old was off to the races. She did not lost another game the entire match–taking nine in a row–and dropped only 12 total points in the entire second set.

 

It ended in a bit of an anticlimactic fashion–on a challenge, not unlike this year’s Australian Open final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. With Muguruza serving at 5-0, 40-30, Williams sent a backhand toward the opposite baseline. The shot was not called out, but Muguruza stopped play and challenged. It was shown to be long, thus giving the No. 14 seed a second major title.

 

“She played really well,” Williams said of Muguruza. “I mean, she played top tennis, so I have to give her credit for just playing a better match. I’ve had a great two weeks…. It was a good experience. Yeah, what else can I say? It was a great experience.”

 

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action against Venus Williams of the USA during their final match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 15 July 2017. EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

“I was expecting the best Venus, because I saw her (earlier in the tournament) and she was playing very [well],” Muguruza noted. “I knew she was going to make me suffer and fight for it.

 

“When I had those set points against me, I’m like, ‘Hey, it’s normal. I’m playing Venus here….’ So I just keep fighting. And I knew that if I was playing like I was playing during the two weeks, I was going to have eventually an opportunity. So I was calm. If I lose the first set, I still have two more. Let’s not make a drama.”

 

Instead, Muguruza made history–winning her first Wimbledon title and becoming the first player other than Serena to beat Venus in a Grand Slam final since Martina Hingis at the 1997 U.S. Open.

 

And it’s safe to say that says as much about Venus as it does about Muguruza. Great champions, both.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

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