Garbine Muguruza has won her first Wimbledon title with a majestic performance against five-time champion Venus Williams.
After holding firm in a thrilling first set, Muguruza ran away with a 7-5 6-0 victory to win her second Grand Slam title.
From 4-5 and two set points down, she won nine games in a row.
Muguruza becomes the first Spanish female champion at the All England Club since 1994, when Conchita Martinez – Muguruza’s coach this fortnight – beat Martina Navratilova in the final.
Muguruza, who will return to the top five after this victory, dropped just one set at this year’s Championship.
“I had I think the hardest match today against Venus. She’s such an incredible player, I grew up watching her play … I feel incredible to be able to play her here,” Muguruza said after accepting the Venus Rosewater Dish.
“I think it (nerves) is inside. Of course I’ve got nervous, I always dreamed to be here. I was composed I guess. I think it was very tough, we both had a lot of chances, so I’m glad that I made it.
“Two years ago I lost in the finals against Serena, and she told me one day I was gonna maybe win, so two years after, here I am.”
Venus was eloquent in her runner-up speech. “Congratulations Garbine. Amazing. I know how hard you work and I’m sure this means so much to you and your family. So well done today. Beautiful,” she said.
“A lot of beautiful moments in the last couple of weeks (for me too).”
The stage was set for what venerable tennis commentator Mary Carillo famously termed “Big Babe Tennis”.
And in the first set, both Muguruza and Williams delivered a power-laded spectacle.
Both women held serve strongly and the opening set went game for game, their serves and groundstrokes amplified under a closed roof and contributing to an even bigger atmosphere.
Perhaps the only difference was that Muguruza looked less secure on the forehand wing – she committed five unforced errors off that stroke in the first five games.
Yet it was Muguruza who earned the first real opportunity; in the seventh game, one featuring four deuces and three Williams double faults, Muguruza scored a break point, but couldn’t convert.
With Venus later moving ahead 5-4, Muguruza’s shaky forehand again reared its head – she dumped it into the net to fall behind 15-40. With two set points in hand, Williams peppered Muguruza’s forehand in a glorious 19-shot rally during which the two women traded lusty blows from the baseline.
Yet the Spaniard’s forehand, this time, did not break down. She won that point, saved the second set point, held for 5-5, and never looked back.
The shift in momentum was obvious. Muguruza played more freely, with more sting and force in her shots. Venus increasingly leaked errors from her racquet.
Muguruza outlasted Williams in another brutal rally to score the first break of the match and a 6-5 lead, and closed out the set in the following game.
“Definitely would have loved to have converted some of those points,” Williams said. “But she competed really well. So credit to her. She just dug in there and managed to play better. I have to give her credit for just playing a better match.”
In the first game of the second set, Muguruza broke serve in a dispiriting blow to Williams, who double-faulted to surrender it. In game three, the Spaniard played two backhand passing shot winners en route to a second break.
In the final game, on her third match point, Muguruza stopped the point mid-rally, challenging the “in” call on the baseline.
She was right. And with that, she became a Wimbledon champion.
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