Watch: Garbine Muguruza, Venus Williams Reach Wimbledon Final
Venus Williams Wimbledon final
The tenth-seeded American will be pursuing her sixth Wimbledon title when she faces 14th seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain in Saturday’s championship game.
Muguruza — the 23-year-old Venezuelan-born player who won the 2016 French Open — easily eliminated World No. 87 Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova 6-1, 6-1 in her own semifinal, which lasted a mere 65 minutes.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 13, 2017
Williams, 37, beat sixth-seeded Brit Konta in approximately 75 minutes in Thursday’s second semifinal. Should Williams win on Saturday, she would become the oldest women’s Grand Slam champion in the Open Era (since 1968). She’s also the oldest women’s finalist in any Grand Slam since Martina Navratilova reached the Wimbledon final in 1994.
“I’ve played in a lot of finals here,” Williams said in her televised interview after the match. “It’s been a blessing. I couldn’t have asked for more, but I’ll ask for a little more. One more win would be amazing.
“It won’t be a given, but I’m going to give it my all.”
Konta had reached quite an accomplishment on Tuesday after she became the first English woman to advance to the Wimbledon semifinals since Virginia Wade in 1978, but she was no match for the older sister of superstar Serena Williams, who is out of the grass-court major due to her pregnancy.
Venus Williams last reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2009 and previously won the tournament in 2008. Her 20 appearances at All England Club are the most of any active player.
After being tied 4-4 in the first set, Konta scored two break points but Williams used her powerful serve to overcome her 26-year-old opponent, who was just 1-5 in her Wimbledon career entering Thursday’s match.
Williams — who has won 12 straight service games ahead of Saturday’s final — then capitalized on three unforced errors by Konta in the following game to take the set. The American praised her much-younger adversary after the game, saying every point was a challenge.
“She played so well,” Williams said of Konta. “No point was easy. I just tried to climb on top each time to get another point.”
Konta also lauded Williams after the American’s quarterfinal victory over Latvian youngster Jelena Ostapenko on Tuesday, and added she was excited to face Williams on grass for the first time.
In the final game on Thursday, Konta saved two match points before recording her seventh double fault, and Williams sealed her victory with a powerful forehand down the right side after Konta returned an approach shot.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 13, 2017
Muguruza will be seeking her first Wimbledon trophy on Saturday. The Spaniard — who lost to Serena Williams in the 2015 final — did not appear to struggle at all against Rybarikova, who was playing in her first-ever semifinal in a major tournament. Rybarikova entered Thursday’s match with an 18-1 record on grass this season.
Rybarikova lost the first five games of the first set, with Muguruza facing only one break point and saving it. The Spaniard then broke twice to open the second set and gain a 4-0 lead.
“I think I played very well, for sure,” Muguruza said in her televised interview after the match. “It was a tricky match. [Rybarikova] was playing very good during the tournament, and I think today I stepped out on the court super confident and everything went well.”
Muguruza is now 3-0 in Grand Slam semifinal matches. “I definitely want to win,” Muguruza said, “no matter who is front of me.”
The Spaniard, who is playing in her fifth Wimbledon tournament, has lost the least number of games (39) at this year’s event.
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 13: Venus Williams of The United States plays a backhand during the Ladies Singles semi final match against Johanna Konta of Great Britain on day ten of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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