May 28, 2014
Garbine Muguruza pulled off one of the great shocks to crush Serena Williams in straight sets at Roland Garros.
The statuesque Spaniard served like a dream while nervous Serena simply tried too hard. To beat the world number one 6-2, 6-2 in just over an hour was an achievement no one saw coming – including the surprised winner.
‘Today’s a great day. It’s amazing, I didn’t expect that but I played very, very good, and I’m really happy,’ Garbine shrieked joyfully afterwards.
With the heavy favourite out and Li Na a casualty yesterday, Maria Sharapova will rate her chances of more French Open glory. At just 20 years of age, Muguruza isn’t even a clay-court specialist. But she will fear no one after a performance full of power and composure.
She went 4-1 up in the second set by breaking Williams for the third time in a row, this time to love. Reigning champion Serena tried to break back again herself but squandered three chances for 2-4 and ran out of time to avert the upset. Muguruza had broken her stiff opponent in the third game of the first set and consolidated immediately. She never looked back and more than matched Serena’s bludgeoning blows.
Venezuelan-born Muguruza could hardly believe her own display and now the tournament has been blown wide open.
Earlier Serena’s sister Venus had also been knocked out by a young pretender – Anna Schmiedlova.
No one at Roland Garros had ever seen anything quite like it. Serena notched 29 unforced errors and didn’t win a single point at the net. She looked close to tears but congratulated her conqueror graciously in the end. Muguruza has impressed before to reach number 32 in the world rankings – but now her game and her mental strength look complete.