Muguruza blows Venus away

Garbine Muguruza (AP)
Garbine Muguruza (AP)

Johannesburg - 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 high-quality 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 tension-filled 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. – Reuters

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