Garbiñe Muguruza Wins Wimbledon, Defeating Venus Williams

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“Well, I think I’m here because I’ve done a hard work before,” Muguruza said of Martínez’s influence on the eve of the final. “The magic doesn’t happen just because somebody comes in, and all of a sudden you are incredible. I think she’s helping me how to deal with the tournament, because obviously it’s a Grand Slam, and it’s difficult to handle because it’s two weeks. She has experience.”

Sumyk and Martínez consulted regularly during the tournament, but Martínez was the one sitting in the players box on Centre Court on Saturday, shouting encouragement as Muguruza played in her third Grand Slam singles final.

The match turned with Muguruza serving at 4-5 in the first set. Williams had two set points but could not convert them. In the next game, Muguruza earned the first break of serve in the match to go ahead 6-5 and then closed out the set.

Muguruza rolled from there. She broke Williams again to open the second set, and Williams’s errors began to pile up. Muguruza won the final nine games of the match.

Photo

This season Venus Williams is the only woman to have played in two Grand Slam singles finals.

Credit
Gerry Penny/European Pressphoto Agency

Muguruza lost to Venus Williams’s younger sister Serena Williams in the 2015 Wimbledon final, then upset Serena Williams in last year’s French Open final, generating expectations that she would continue to climb the rankings and be a consistent contender for major trophies.

Instead, she went into an extended slump, failing to reach another final at any tournament until her run at Wimbledon this year.

She is now a two-time Grand Slam singles champion and will be back at No. 5 in the WTA rankings on Monday.

Venus Williams will be back in the top 10 at No. 9 and is in the midst of the strongest season of her late-career phase.

She lost the Australian Open final in January to her sister. Serena Williams was pregnant with her first child when she won that final and has not played competitively since. But she and Venus have been in regular contact during Wimbledon, and Serena, a seven-time singles champion here, offered encouragement and tactical advice before the match against Muguruza.

But after defeating six younger women at the All England Club this year, Venus Williams could not get past the seventh.

Her performance here was, nonetheless, one of the most remarkable of her long career. She last won a Wimbledon singles title in 2008, and three years later she announced that she had Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.

The condition sapped her energy and forced her to alter her diet and curtail her training. But it did not curtail her desire to continue competing at the highest level, even when she failed to advance past the fourth round in singles at any major tournament in 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014.

She endured deep frustrations and retirement questions but continued to maintain that she still had the talent and temperament to contend for the biggest titles.

This season, she is the only woman to have played in two Grand Slam singles finals.



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