July 9, 2015
At last we know the identities of the Wimbledon women’s singles finalists. It should be a fascinating battle on Saturday.
Garbine Muguruza, who defeated Agnieszka Radwanska in a scintillating three-set semi-final, faces Serena Williams, who was typically destructive in her straight sets win against Maria Sharapova.
So why can’t they just write Serena’s name on the trophy already? Because Muguruza has beaten her before. Not just beaten her, in fact, but trounced Williams, 6-2, 6-2.
Was it a big occasion? You bet – the French Open second round, and only last year, too.
So there is no reason why the 21-year-old rising star should have anything to fear. She has the power to meet fire with fire and she knows she will have nothing to lose.
Serena stands on the brink of history, but she isn’t taking her opponent lightly. ‘It’s good for her that she has reached the final and it’s good for me too, she beat me before, she made me improve, she has me on my toes,’ the more experienced woman said.
One more win and Williams will have achieved a “Serena Slam,” meaning she will be reigning champion for every Slam. ‘At least I’ve reached the fourth final and I’m going to enjoy that,’ she said cautiously, refusing to talk about her true goal, which is a Calendar Slam – winning all four in the same year.
‘Being in a Wimbledon final again is special enough in itself,’ Williams pointed out, ‘it’s a long time since I’ve been in the final, a long time since I’ve been this far at Wimbledon.’
But for Muguruza, this really is uncharted territory. ‘It’s my first Grand Slam final so these are new emotions. One more match to win! I don’t want to change anything, hopefully my family can come over, but maybe if they do I’ll lose! Conchita Martinez (a former Wimbledon Champion and fellow Spaniard) has told me to believe in myself and that I can do it on grass.’
The younger woman already knows she has achieved something special, though – and that could work against her on Saturday. ‘I don’t have words to explain, I worked all my life to achieve this moment,’ she admitted, almost as though she has accomplished her mission for now already.
But if she can replicate some of the tennis she played against Radwanska, maybe Garbine can stun Williams once more. ‘I was playing too good so I had to stay calm and keep a poker face,’ Muguruza confessed about her storming start against the Pole.
The start of the final could be decisive, you sense. Who will win? Listen again to Williams and you probably have the answer. ‘It’s good for her, it’s good for me, she beat me before, she made me improve, she has me on my toes.’
Taking nothing for granted against a dangerous opponent but wanting revenge so badly, Williams has just the right attitude to clinch her 21st Slam.