Thursday, April 25, 2024

Muguruza rolls over Venus to Wimbledon title


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LONDON – Garbine Muguruza clinched a maiden Wimbledon tennis title on Saturday with a stunning demolition of Venus Williams, whose dreams of a fairy tale victory at the age of 37 were blown apart in a devastating second set.

Like many a brutal demise, the end was messy and at times uncomfortable to watch as the Spaniard cut loose after tense early exchanges, winning nine straight games to crush the demoralised American 7-5, 6-0.

It was Muguruza’s second grand slam title to add to last year’s French Open and was indisputably deserved after she absorbed everything her opponent could throw at her before taking control and inflicting a punishing triple break in the final set.

She was robbed of the picture-perfect conclusion and forced to wait as Hawk-eye was called on to confirm that a mis-hit forehand from Venus had landed out before her emotional celebrations could begin.

It was the 23-year-old’s second Wimbledon final, having lost to Venus’ sister Serena on the same stage in 2015, and her legs gave way as she fell to the ground after the decision was relayed on Centre Court’s giant scoreboards.

“Two years ago I lost in the final to Serena and she told me one day I was going to maybe win and hey, two years after here I am,” she said courtside.

“I played very well since the first game, and I kept the level, which is very hard because, you’re nervous… I was just very composed,” she added later.

For Venus, who seemed to lack any sort of fight as the final blows were landed, it was a stinging reminder of her advancing years.

The five-time champion last triumphed at the All England Club in 2008. She was looking to become the oldest woman to win a grand slam in the professional era and the most senior to triumph on Wimbledon’s lawns since 1908.

Having been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an illness that causes fatigue and joint pain, in 2011 and seen her ranking plummet to 103, her renaissance this year is still hugely impressive.

Yet her capitulation ensured a second grand slam final defeat of 2017, after she was also downed by her sister at the Australian Open.

“She played top tennis, so I have to give her credit for just playing a better match,” Venus said. (Reuters)


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