Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Muguruza too hot for Serena

Published:Sunday | June 5, 2016 | 6:00 AM
Spain's Garbine Muguruza holds the trophy after winning the final of the French Open tennis tournament against Serena Williams of the U.S. in two sets 7-5, 6-4, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France yesterday.

PARIS (AP):

The day before the French Open final, Serena Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, was discussing whether his player would need to lift her level to beat Garbine Muguruza and collect a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title.

"I don't know why everybody's so impressed with Garbine," Mouratoglou said. "Did she win a Slam ever?"

His comment, accompanied by a chuckle, was intended in a light-hearted way. About 24 hours later, his question required a new answer.

bright future

Muguruza won her first major trophy and prevented Williams yet again from collecting No. 22, outplaying the defending champion in a 7-5, 6-4 victory at Roland Garros yesterday.

"She has a bright future, obviously," said Williams, who, at 34, is 12 years older than her Spanish opponent. "She knows how to play on the big stage and ... clearly, she knows how to win Grand Slams."

The fourth-seeded Muguruza used her big groundstrokes to keep No. 1 Williams off balance and overcame signs of nerves in the form of nine double-faults. Most impressively, Muguruza broke Williams four times, including three in a row.

"I can't explain with words what this day means to me," Muguruza said.

This was her second major final. She lost to Williams at Wimbledon last year. But Muguruza has won her past two matches against Williams on the clay of Roland Garros, including in the second round in 2014.

For Williams, whose timing was not exactly right much of the afternoon, Saturday's loss postponed her pursuit of Steffi Graf's Open-era mark of 22 major singles championships. Margaret Court holds the all-time record of 24.