Yes!!!! pic.twitter.com/evqTlwOaRf— Garbiñe Muguruza (@GarbiMuguruza) July 15, 2017
Garbine Muguruza topped off her brilliant 2017 Wimbledon run today by defeating Venus Williams in straight sets and lifting the Venus Rosewater dish for the first time. Muguruza, the 2016 French Open champion, came close in 2015, but was defeated in that final by Serena Williams.
The first set was highly competitive and featured some stunning, very hard-hitting rallies, as one would expect from Muguruza and Williams. Muguruza had won the toss and elected to receive, but did not break her opponent in the first game, so she spent the rest of that set as the one "playing behind." And, serving at 4-5, she faced two break points--set points for Williams.
What ensued was a rally of 20 strokes, creating what was probably the most tense period in the entire match. It ended when Williams struck a forehand into the net. On the next point, Williams struck the ball long, and the set continued. And that 5-all moment changed the tone of the entire final. Neither player was the same after that. Williams' level declined, and Muguruza got control of her errant forehand, winning nine straight games. The Spaniard's 7-5, 6-0 victory backed up her very strong tendency to win a match when she wins the first set.
The match ended in a somewhat unusual way, though we've seen it before. Williams hit a ball that was called in, Muguruza challenged the call, and sure enough--the ball was out, which meant that Muguruza was the 2017 Wimbledon champion.
"It's such a bomb of emotions," the 15th seed said in her on-court interview, about what it felt like to realize that she was the champion.
Muguruza's coach, Sam Sumyk, could not be there, so she was coached during the event by the only other Spanish woman to win Wimbledon, Conchita Martinez. Muguruza dropped 44 games throughout the seven matches, and she dropped only one set--to Angelique Kerber.
The most interesting statistic, however, involves Muguruza's WTA career wins. She has won only four events, and two of them are majors. Of the others, one (Hobart) is an international tournament, and the other (Beijing) is a premier mandatory event. We sometimes talk about "big stage" players, but Muguruza has taken the meaning of this term to a whole new level.
"Two years ago I lost to Serena and she told me maybe one day I would win. Here I am!"— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 15, 2017
- @GarbiMuguruza #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/1vSgpmV3TW
The last two winners of majors were coached by Spanish women. Note to players: If you want to win the U.S. Open--better call Arantxa.