London: Garbine Muguruza stormed to her first Wimbledon title and shattered Venus Williams’ history bid with a majestic 7-5, 6-0 victory in the women’s final here Saturday.
Muguruza overwhelmed Venus with a supreme display of power hitting in 77 minutes on Centre Court to become only the second Spanish woman to win Wimbledon. The first had been her coach Conchita Martinez.
Watched from the Royal Box by King Juan Carlos of Spain, the 23-year-old finally got her hands on the Venus Rosewater Dish two years after losing to the American’s sister Serena in her maiden Wimbledon final in 2015.
“The first set was tough. We both had a lot of chances. I’m glad I took mine,” Muguruza said. “Two years ago I lost in the final against Serena and she told me I would win one day. Here I am. Finally!”
Venezuela-born Muguruza’s second Grand Slam title, following her French Open triumph last year, denied Venus, 37, in her attempt to become the oldest Wimbledon champion in the Open era.
Back in the final after an eight-year absence, Venus had hoped to clinch a sixth All England Club title, nine years after she last lifted the trophy.
Instead, she paid the price for a surprisingly nerve-ridden display that condemned her to a second Grand Slam disappointment this year following her Australian Open final loss against Serena.
“Congratulations Garbine. I know how hard you work,” Venus said. “I tried my best to do the things Serena does, but I think there will be other opportunities in the year,” she added.
Since winning her maiden Grand Slam title in Paris, Muguruza had endured something of a sophomore slump as her ranking dropped out of the top 10. But she rediscovered her mojo on grass here and will climb to fifth when the new rankings are confirmed next week. Remarkably, of her four tour-level titles, two are now Grand Slams.
In the first set fortified by a cross-court winner to bring up breakpoint at 3-2, Venus looked poised to seize control, but instead a tame forehand into the net to let Muguruza off the hook.
It was the first of a series of vital escapes for Muguruza, who was matching Venus blow for blow in a series of bruising baseline rallies.
Gifted two set point at 4-5, Venus couldn’t deliver the knockout blow and Muguruza took advantage of it. She broke the American at 5-5 with a delightful lob and then closed out the first set.
Reeling from the shock of losing the first set, Venus served up a limp double fault on breakpoint to hand Muguruza the lead at the start of the second set. Then Muguruza went for the kill so ruthlessly that in the blink of an eye she had broken twice more to take a 5-0 lead. It was all over for Venus.