Garbine Muguruza: Wimbledon champion says it is ‘amazing’ to beat ‘role model’


Garbine Muguruza said it was “amazing” to beat “role model” Venus Williams to win her first Wimbledon final.

Garbine Muguruza
Garbine Muguruza

The 23-year-old Spaniard, who had failed to reach a final in the 23 tournaments since she won the French Open last year, defeated five-time champion Williams 7-5 6-0.

Muguruza was beaten by the American’s sister Serena in the 2015 final.

“I didn’t want to lose this time because I know the difference. I’m so happy,” she said.

“I’m happy that once again I see myself winning a Grand Slam, something that is so hard to do.

“It means a lot of confidence.”

Speaking on court after the match, Muguruza said of Williams: “She’s such an incredible player. I grew up watching her play.”

As the crowd laughed, she turned to the 37-year-old American and added: “Sorry!”

Later, she said: “I was so excited to go there and win especially over someone like a role model.”

The first set of Saturday’s final was a tight affair and would have gone the way of Williams had she converted one of her two break points at 5-4.

Muguruza said: “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, you know.”

Williams capitulated in the second set, losing her form altogether and all of her service games.

When asked about winning the second set 6-0, Muguruza said: “I wanted to go my way the fastest as possible, just not get too complicated. But I know it’s hard.

“I played very well since the first game and I kept the level, which is very hard because you’re nervous. You see you’re winning. I was just very composed.”

Muguruza also praised former champion Conchita Martinez, who replaced her regular coach Sam Sumyk for the tournament.

She added: “Obviously I’d like Conchita to be in my team because I have a great relationship with her.”

‘Muguruza dug in there and played better’

Williams said she had not “fully processed” what happened in the final, having gone from being close to winning the first set to losing the final in only 37 minutes.

She was asked whether Sjogren’s syndrome, which she has, or fatigue had affected her during the match. However, the 10-time Grand Slam singles champion did not answer those questions directly.

When asked about her two break-point chances in the opening set, she said: “I definitely would have loved to have converted some of those points.

“But she competed really well. So credit to her. She just dug in there and managed to play better.

“There’s always something to learn from matches that you win and the ones that you don’t win. So there’s definitely something for me to learn from this. But at the same time looking back, it’s always about looking forward, too.”

Regarding her performance at this year’s Wimbledon, where she reached her first final since 2009, she said: “Every tournament’s different. This is most certainly a very different tournament.

“It took a lot of effort to get right here. So this is where I want to be in every single major.”

Muguruza – did you know?

1. Muguruza is only the second Spanish woman to win the Wimbledon singles title and the first since her coach Martinez triumphed in 1994.

2. She is only the second player to face both Williams sisters in the final of the same Grand Slam after Martina Hingis beat Venus to win the US Open in 1997 then lost to Serena at the same tournament in 1999.

3. Muguruza’s mother Scarlet Blanco is from Venezuela and her father Jose Antonio is from Spain. She was born in Venezuela but moved to Spain when she was six and retains dual nationality but her current residency is listed by the women’s tour as Geneva in Switzerland. In 2014, she decided to play for Spain. Her favourite players growing up were Serena Williams and Pete Sampras.

4. No player in either singles draw at Wimbledon had a better percentage of saving break points than Muguruza. She showed her composure in the crucial moments by saving 21 out of the 25 break points she faced, 84% during the tournament.

5. Muguruza joins Victoria Azarenka, Angelique Kerber, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Petra Kvitova among the active female players on two Grand Slam singles titles. Only Serena Williams and Venus Williams, with 23 and seven respectively, and Maria Sharapova on five, have more. BBC Sport

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