Wimbledon final: Garbine Muguruza beats Venus Williams
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza won her first Wimbledon title with a straight-set win over five-time champion Venus Williams.
The 23-year-old saved two set points and won the last nine games in a 7-5 6-0 victory under the Centre Court roof.
Muguruza denied the 37-year-old a first major title for nine years, which would have made her the oldest female Grand Slam champion in the Open era.
It is 14th seed Muguruza’s second Grand Slam title after her French Open triumph over Serena Williams in 2016.
“I had the hardest match today against Venus,” said Muguruza.
“She’s such an incredible player. I grew up watching her play – sorry,” she added, to the watching American.
“I feel incredible to be able to play her here. Of course I’m nervous because I always dreamed about winning it, but I was composed.”
Having lost to Serena Williams in the 2015 final, Muguruza becomes the second Spanish woman to win the Wimbledon singles title after her coach, Conchita Martinez.
She is also the first woman to beat both Williams sisters in Grand Slam finals.
Garbine Muguruza has now won major titles at the French Open and Wimbledon
A close contest was forecast, and for 40 minutes it proved impossible to separate the two finalists as their impressive serves dominated.
Williams had her chance to take control but failed to convert two set points at 5-4, and her challenge faded dramatically as the last nine games went to Muguruza.
“I miss Serena,” Williams said afterwards, with her sister back in the US awaiting the birth of her first child.
“I tried my best to do the things you do – but I think there will be other opportunities.”
Williams had opened the match with an ace, and Muguruza with a double fault, and it was the American who held a narrow edge as the first set unfolded.
A first break point disappeared into the net at 3-2 before Muguruza missed her chance with a wayward forehand return in the following game.
When the Spaniard’s first serve momentarily let her down it presented Williams with two set points, but she succumbed in a gripping 20-stroke rally, and then sent a return long.
‘Point of match so far!’ – Venus wins rally
The American’s forehand then completely deserted her, four errors in a row helping Muguruza to finally clinch the first break at 6-5, and a brilliant backhand lob helped the Spaniard secure the set.
It felt like the first blow in a lengthy encounter, but instead the final was over just 25 minutes later.
Williams double faulted to drop serve at the start of the second set and, moving sluggishly, steered a volley into the tramlines to fall 3-0 down.
While the former champion faded, Muguruza accelerated towards the finish line, breaking for a fourth time in succession and powering to three match points on serve.
The first two slipped by but not the third, which required the confirmation of Hawk-Eye before Muguruza was able to drop to the turf in celebration.
‘I feel incredible to be able to play Venus here’
Analysis – her life will change forever
She was missing early on but then she got over the nerves and got her forehand back in good control.
To see your name on the board of winners must be so special for her. She was among the list of favourites since we knew Serena Williams was not going to play. Garbine wasn’t right at the top of the list though, having lost matches in the warm-up events.
It was a strange ending because it ended on a challenge. Then she looked up and wondered if this was true – a dream. Her life will change forever.
‘Tough to watch Venus disintegrate like that’
I don’t think this will affect Venus too much. She has the mind of a champion but physically it was generally fatigue in her body. You could see all over she was tired and that first set took it out of her.
I loved that reaction from Garbine. It was almost like she couldn’t believe it. It brought a tear to my eye. BBC