March 20, 2018

Venus seeks sixth Wimbledon title

15 July 2017, 01:53 | Joan Schultz

Getty Images

Getty Images

Garbine Muguruza admitted she's in awe of Venus Williams being in the Wimbledon final at the age of 37, as the American bids to become the oldest female Grand Slam champion in Open Era history. "We work so many years for these moments that she has right now, and I'm really happy for her", the 23-time grand slam victor told Yahoo Sports.

Her chances of Wimbledon glory multiplied when the only other former champion, Petra Kvitova, crashed out in the second round.

Perhaps even more relevant is how she has developed since beating the younger Williams sister to join Martinez as a Spanish Grand Slam victor a year ago.

That earned the 23-year-old Muguruza a berth in her third career Grand Slam final, second at the All England Club. Defending Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, now on a pregnancy hiatus, set that record by winning this year's Australian Open at 35 years, 125 days.

She has tried, coach David Witt said, to "just focus on the tennis".

"I think she just loves to play and she enjoys going out there", Muguruza said. It is hard not to root for Venus to carve out a little more history, nearly stepping out of Serena's limelight, but she will have to battle hard for it.

The road back to the top has been a bumpy one for Williams, who last was in the Wimbledon final eight years ago when she lost the championship to her sister - something that also happened in 2002 and '03.

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"Well, you know, that final helped me a lot to figure out a way to play better on grass, because before I was not very experienced and had not played a lot of grass court tournaments", she said.

Last meeting: Muguruza won 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, quarter-finals, 2017 Rome Masters. "I'm not sure exactly what she's doing".

Since winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open past year, Muguruza had endured something of a sophomore slump as her ranking dropped out of the top 10. "It's a long two weeks".

Her victory against Kerber, who will lose her world No 1 spot at the end of the tournament, showed her mental resilience having lost the first set, while her victory against the unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova in the semi-finals was a demonstration of her consistent power hitting from the baseline.

"But to have her by my side gives me also this little confidence on having someone that has won before", she said. She hasn't faced a hard-serving player like Venus in this tournament before, but her renewed desire and belief could take her over the finish line. I have to go out there and take it and play well.

"It was just a very surprising moment when you reach a final in a tournament where you thought it was going to be hard, but right now I know how to play more on grass".

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