Wimbledon Day 10 | Muguruza blitzes into final
Garbine Muguruza has returned to the Wimbledon final for the second time in three years feeling ‘calm” to take on Venus Williams. And she aims to go one better than the runners-up spot she had to settle for against Venus’ younger sister Serena in SW19 in 2015.
Just for me it's incredible to be here in another final, because it means a lot. It's a Grand Slam. I lost two years ago one, so I really look forward this one to try to change that. I feel much more calm Garbine Muguruza
The Spanish 14th seed, now coached by 1994 champion Conchita Martinez, swept aside Magdalena Rybarikova 6-1 6-1 in just 64 a one-sided minutes.
The Centre Court crowd had little to excite it despite the magnitude of the occasion as little-fancied Rybarikova froze on the big stage.
Muguruza, 23, said: “Facing Venus? She won here like five times, I think. She knows how to play, especially Wimbledon finals. It’s going to be like a historic final again.
“Just for me it’s incredible to be here in another final, because it means a lot. It’s a Grand Slam. I lost two years ago one, so I really look forward this one to try to change that. I feel much more calm, kind of controlling more my emotions than the last time. It was more new for me also.”
Was the beating of Rybarikova easier than she expected?
She replied: “I wasn’t expecting anything because you never know how it’s going to go, the match. I saw her play before. I saw she was playing very good, very talented. Just expected myself to be ready as much as I could. Maybe the score did look maybe more easier than actually playing during the games.”
Form books can be ripped up. Shocks occur. But not this day.
Rybarikova, 28, struggled to have faith that her Cinderella story would have the ultimate fairytale ending.
The Slovakian had defied the odds to put herself in the position of being the lowest ranked Grand Slam finalist in 39 years when Chris O’Neill claimed the Australian Open while ranked world No.111.
Rybarikova had been as low as 453 a mere four months ago, having been plagued by knee and wrist problems.
But since then she has risen to 87 and, of course made her first Slam semi at the 36th attempt.
Yet it seemed she was lacking belief despite her impressive run to the last four of tennis’ most famous tournament.
That she was too busy pinching herself after putting herself in such a position. She was ‘oh my God’ more than ‘oh I can win this’.
It proved a miss-match against an opponent who has roared back into the top ten after a slump. The demands she put on herself searching for perfection perhaps had proved too much to bear for the 2016 French Open champion.
Muguruza was on top of her game. Her aggression, movement and focus was all there.
That has not always been the case, judging by the fact she has only ever won three titles. But one of them was at Roland Garros – Beijing and Hobart being the others – tells you she has the potential to rise to the big occasion.
Rybarikova said: “Garbine was playing amazing match. I never saw her playing that well. Even I played against her, she never played that good. Was very difficult for me. Obviously, I was little bit nervous in the beginning. But then she stood up, and she was playing very fast. She adapt so long. I could not do almost anything.
“Obviously was not my best day. But she didn’t give me much chance to do something. So, I mean, I have to congratulate her. I’m wishing her all the best in the finals.
“It’s very difficult because it’s semifinals of a Grand Slam. Obviously I didn’t want to lose 6-1 6-1. Especially I’ve been playing here very well. I beat Karolina Pliskova, the third seed) with a really good match, and suddenly I couldn’t do anything. It was the strokes before what I was like maybe killing or it was working before, today it didn’t.
“But again I’m saying now it was also her because she was playing so well. Every stroke was so long from her that I couldn’t do much. I saw her playing also yesterday against Svetlana (Kuznetsova). I was like, ‘Ooh. She’s really playing amazing right now, it was going to be very difficult for me’. I was hoping my game going to be working for her. But not really.”