LONDON – Garbine Muguruza won her second grand slam title in just over a year with a 7-5, 6-0 defeat of Venus Williams for a first Wimbledon title on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Spanish 14th seed, French Open champion in 2016, came good at the All England club after losing a Wimbledon title match two years ago to Serena Williams.
Muguruza lifted the trophy with 14 winners to 17 for her opponent; Williams was weighed down by five double faults and 25 unforced errors.
“I always come very motivated to the grand slams,” Muguruza said. “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. Today, I played well.”
The match slipped away from the 37-year-old Williams after Muguruza saved a pair of set points in the 10th game of the first set to pull to 5-all
The Venezuelan-born Spaniard broke Williams a game later for 6-5 and served out the set as the American netted. Muguruza built up to clinching the set on a defensive lob which kissed a far corner, yielding two set points.
The second set was a mere formality for Muguruza, whose game clicked into a higher gear and never let up as Williams tired.
The Spaniard ran the table to love, with Williams losing as her opponent stopped play during match point, citing a return she believed was long.
The call was confirmed to hand her the trophy after an hour and a quarter of play.
“I was expecting the best Venus, because she was playing very good,” Muguruza said. “I knew she was going to make me suffer and fight for it.
“When I had those set points against me, I’m like, ‘Hey, it’s normal. I’m playing Venus here’.
“So I just kept fighting. And I knew that if I was playing like I was playing during the two weeks, I was going to have eventually an opportunity. I was calm. If I lose the first set, I still have two more. Let’s not make a drama.”
Venus was denied a sixth trophy at the event as she made a bid for her first grand slam title since 2008.
Williams had played the Australian Open final in January, losing to her younger sister, who is now sitting out the rest of the season during pregnancy.
Williams was gracious in defeat after falling to 1-4 against Muguruza, who beat her in their last match in May in Rome:
“She competed really well, so credit to her. She just dug in there and managed to play better.
“She played top tennis, so I have to give her credit for just playing a better match. I’ve had a great two weeks. I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer.
“I’m definitely in good form. I’ve been in a position a lot of times this year to contend for big titles.
“That’s the kind of position I want to keep putting myself in. It’s just about getting over the line. I believe I can do that.
“This is where you want to be. I like to win. I don’t want to just get to a final. It’s just about playing a little better.”
This season marked the first year that Williams had played multiple major finals since 2003. The title was the first for Muguruza since her triumph at Roland Garros 13 months ago.
Both the winner and finalist will return to the ranking top 10, with Muguruza due to reach fifth.