Muguruza wins maiden Grand Slam by slaying Serena in French Open final
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | June 4, 2016
A Spanish champion at Roland Garros has been no surprise in recent years, but the 2016 French Open proved to be all about Garbine Muguruza from an Iberian outlook, not ‘the king of clay’ Rafael Nadal.
While Mallorca’s finest sporting export pulled out of the Paris tennis Major during the early rounds with a wrist injury, 22-year-old compatriot Muguruza powered her way to a maiden Grand Slam title, defeating defending women’s singles champion Serena Williams in straight sets (7-5 6-4).
Venezuelan-born to a Spanish father from the Basque Country, Muguruza traded baseline blows with the all-time female great 11 years her senior for the best part of two hours and won.
Rarely has 21-time Grand Slam singles champ Serena been put so consistently under pressure on the big stage. Muguruza matched her American opponent’s big hits throughout, and returned excellently.
All this despite nine double faults during the first 90 minutes of play. Muguruza broke Williams’ serve five times during the match, denying her illustrious foe another opportunity to go level second with Steffi Graf on the all-time women’s list.
Serena has now faltered in back-to-back Grand Slam finals, and also lost in the semis of last year’s US Open. Could age be finally catching up to her?
Wimbledon 2016 betting on Williams suggests otherwise, with Coral keeping her as a firm 6/4 favourite to retain the grass court Major.
Magnanimous in victory on clay, Muguruza maintained her 100 per cent record against Serena on a surface that does tend to favour Spaniards. Nadal, as alluded to above, has long been king of this arena, but has a new queen now been crowned?
With the WTA world rankings a lot more fluid and the ladies’ tour much less predictable than the men, only time will tell if Serena’s sensational powers are starting to wane after a glittering career.
Off the back of her French Open triumph, Muguruza has been cut by Coral into 6/1 joint second favourite to win Wimbledon. She was runner-up at the All-England Club 12 months ago, but as her Roland Garros run indicates Muguruza is more than capable of going one better.