Garbiñe Muguruza claimed her first grand slam title with a convincing win over Serena Williams at the French Open in Paris.
Williams was looking for her 22nd grand slam singles title, to equal Steffi Graff’s tally. But the American had no response to Muguruza’s aggressive game.
The Spaniard broke the World No1 three times on her way to a famous 7-5, 6-4 win.The world No4 is the first Spaniard to lift the Suzanne Lengen trophy since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998.
The last meeting between these two players had come in that Wimbledon final a year ago, where Muguruza admitted that “it was hard to concentrate” against the greatest player of the modern era. She lost in straight sets, but it was clearly a learning experience because she was on her mettle from her first service game yesterday, using her 6ft frame to match Williams’s power and regularly drive the defending champion backwards.
Cheered on by Sumyk, Muguruza saw three championship points go by on Williams’s serve before she had a crack on her own. This time, she made sure with an extraordinary lobbed winner from a defensive position, which Williams shepherded back towards the line judges only to find the ball landing bang on the line.
Time seemed to stop for a second. No-one quite realised whether the match was over or not, including Muguruza, who had to look back at Sumyk before falling on her back on the clay in the obligatory celebration manoeuvre. When the next set of rankings are published tomorrow, she will climb two places to No. 2 in the world.
Meanwhile Williams absorbed her 7-6, 6-4 defeat with characteristic grace, applauding as soon as the fateful lob landed, and then embracing Muguruza warmly at the net.