Queen of Clay: Muguruza Crowned French Open Champion
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
Garbine Muguruza is the French open Champion after upsetting Serena Williams in straight sets in Saturday’s final at Roland Garros.
The Spaniard claimed her first Grand Slam title with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over the world number one, thus preventing Serena from tying Steffi Graf’s 22 Grand Slam titles.
In their second slam final meeting in less than 12 months, it would appear that Muguruza started the match fairly nervous. At Wimbledon she raced out of the blocks with a quick break of serve, this time she had to hold in a long fourth game of the match. It was a crucial hold of serve that allowed Muguruza to settle, and at the end of the first set she managed to find a crucial break at 5-5. Serving it out did not prove to be easy as Serena probed with break back points, but thus is the mentality of the 22 year old, she saved them all and managed to seal the opener 7-5.
Three breaks of serve started the second with Muguruza gaining the advantage. The Spaniard did not let up not matter how hard Serena tried to break back, and suddenly she was only one game away from victory at 5-3. Four match points came and went on the American’s serve, but whilst many would crumble given the missed opportunity added to the pressure of serving it out, the fourth seed collected herself and served it out to love.
In one of the better ways to win your maiden Grand Slam title, Muguruza’s lob attempt found the line and she fell to the floor in triumph- she had done it. A first Grand Slam title and her first main tour title on clay- Spanish tennis has a new superstar.
“I think we both were very nervous,” Muguruza told NBC’s Mary Carillo after the match via WTAtennis.com. “I was really going for the match so I was not really thinking of who I have in front or where I’m playing.
“I was just like, ‘Come on, go for the match.’ I just said ‘Garbiñe be calm, don’t get nervous.’ I practiced all my life for this so you know, that’s the moment.”
Serena came around the net to congratulate her opponent in classy fashion. She will now look ahead to Wimbledon where she will once again try to make history. Today however belongs to Muguruza who put on a stunning display for tennis throughout the two weeks to win the title.
Whilst the seeds in her section collapsed, the 22 year old remained strong and defeated some very dangerous players such as Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sam Stosur on the way to the final. In fact she had only dropped the one set during the tournament which came in the opening round match against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
“I can’t explain with words how this day means to me. You work all your life to get here,” Muguruza said.
“I want to really congratulate Serena because she’s one of the best players.”
The win will also send Muguruza to a career high number two when the new WTA world rankings are announced next week.