Muguruza claims Wimbledon women's crown

Darren Walton
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Wimbledon

Spain's Garbine Muguruza holds the Wimbledon trophy after defeating Venus Williams

No longer burdened by expectation, big-stage reveller Garbine Muguruza has emerged as women's tennis's next superstar with a watershed Wimbledon final triumph.

Muguruza denied Venus Williams a fairytale sixth crown at age 37 with an explosive 7-5 6-0 win to add the sport's most famous trophy to her 2016 French Open title.

Victory also atoned for a painful loss to Williams's sister Serena in the 2015 final at The All England Club as the 23-year-old became the first player to conquer both American siblings in a grand slam title decider.

"When I knew I was playing Venus in the final, I was actually looking forward for it," Muguruza said, having brought down Serena at Roland Garros last year.

"People were surprised when I said in the French Open that I (wanted) Serena in the final.

"But that's the final. A Wimbledon final with Serena and (now) Venus ... you know, she won five times, so she knows how to play.

"For me, it was a challenge to have her, growing up watching her play. Everybody started laughing. But, in fact, is something incredible.

"I was so excited to go out there and win, especially over somebody like a role model."

Muguruza's stunning victory comes a month after losing to Australian Ashleigh Barty in Birmingham and then wrapping up her Wimbledon preparations with a 6-1 6-0 surrender to Barbora Strycova in Eastbourne.

Set to climb back to second in the rankings, the one-time world No.2 admits consistency isn't her strong point.

But she lives for the big stages.

"Eastbourne was such a short tournament, I didn't play well there," Muguruza said.

"But I did the week before, so that helped me. I always come very motivated to the grand slams.

"I don't know. Since I lost the final here, I wanted to change that. I came thinking I'm prepared, I feel good.

"During the tournament and the matches, I was feeling better and better. Every match, I was increasing my level."

Almost immediately after the presentation, The All England Club's newest member dashed inside to see her name added to Wimbledon's honour roll.

"It was amazing," Muguruza said.

"I always look at the wall and see all the names and all the history.

"I lost that final. I'm like, I was close. I didn't wanted to lose this time because I know the difference.

"So happy that it's there now."

Muguruza is the first Spanish woman to reign at Wimbledon since her now co-coach Conchita Martinez crushed Martina Navratilova's hopes of a 10th success in 1994.

Long tipped as the next player to dominate beyond the Williams era, Muguruza hopes her next grand slam title defence proves more successful than her shock first-round loss in Paris.

"It's not easy. It's very good when you win it, and it's hard after when you come back and you know you have to defend it," she said.

"But that's a good problem to have. I'm happy to be in this situation.

"I'm happy that once again I see myself winning a grand slam, something that is so hard to do.

"It means a lot. It means a lot of confidence."