Williams completes Serena Slam
Originally published on 11/07/15
Twelve years after her first ‘Serena Slam’, Williams is now in possession of all four major titles, having won the US Open last year followed by the Australian Open and French Open in 2015.
Williams defeated first-time finalist Muguruza 6-4 6-4 after a brave performance from the Spaniard, who will break into the Top 10 for the first time following her run at the All England Club.
"Last year I was just so down because I lost so early in three of the Grand Slams," said Williams. "By the time New York came around, I just wanted to get to the quarter-final of a Grand Slam. When I won my fourth round match, I was elated. I've just been super relaxed. I've been taking time every match. I didn't have an easy go this tournament, but I still just take it one match at a time."
There has been a first-time finalist in the women’s singles final every year since 2010, and only once has that debutant emerged with the Venus Rosewater Dish, in 2011 when Petra Kvitova defeated Maria Sharapova. But if Muguruza was struggling with nerves for the biggest match of her career, she didn’t show it, and it was Williams who showed early signs of jitters, double faulting three times in her opening game to gift Williams an early break.
The world No.20 had beaten Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska en route to the final, and some deep hitting saw her pin the world No.1 behind the baseline, prompting the world No.1 to scream at herself in frustration as she struggled with Muguruza's fierce groundstrokes in the early stages.
However, as she has done on so many occasions, Williams found her way into the match, breaking back and winning four games in a row, sealing the opening set with a cross-court forehand winner.
Muguruza, who was bidding to become the lowest-ranked Wimbledon champion since Venus Williams in 2007, looked to have let the match run away from her when she was broken to love to go 5-1 down in the second set.
But with Williams serving for the Championship Muguruza's groundstrokes that had been flying long began to find the court once again, and she broke back twice to get back to 5-4, prompting rapturous applause from the Centre Court crowd.
Serving once again to keep the match alive, Muguruza sent a forehand wide to hand Williams the title, and with it her 21st Grand Slam title, to move just one major title behind Open era leader Steffi Graf, and all-time record holder Margaret Court on 24.
"There was definitely pressure towards the end," admitted Williams. "Garbine started playing really well and I just had to think to stay out there and work really hard. I am having so much fun out on the court. Everyday is a pleasure to be playing and winning Wimbledon."
"It's hard to concentrate on a final because you have Serena in front of you. You're thinking, she won here five times. It's your first final, you know that you don't have so many chances to win the match," said Muguruza.
"But I just learned that everyone gets nervous, even Serena, in a final. I have to believe that I can be there. Here I have the proof, in Wimbledon, that I was really close."