French Open 2016: Garbine Muguruza stuns Serena Williams to win maiden Grand Slam
A calm Garbine Muguruza produced a remarkably aggressive performance to stun the World No. 1 Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4 en route to winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the 2016 French Open in Paris on Saturday. She thus becomes the first Spanish woman to capture the coveted claycourt Major title since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998 and the second Spanish woman champion ever in the history of the French Open Championships.
As for the 21-time Grand Slam winner Williams, her wait to match Steffi Graf’s Open Era record of 22 Major titles just got longer as she lost a second consecutive Grand Slam final this year, following her loss to Angelique Kerber at the 2016 Australian Open.
Both made fine starts, winning their service games with consummate ease. Serena was the more impressive of the two as she grabbed the first six points on her serve and led 2-1.
A marathon 10-minute game followed which the Spaniard managed to hold despite pressure from Serena on her second serves. That freed her up and she started attacking the defending champion relentlessly. It paid off as the World No. 1 got broken in the very next game to trail behind 2-3.
The intensity of the match picked up in the very next game as both women started hitting with blinding pace. The Spaniard consolidated her break to inch ahead 4-2.
The top seed, however, was determined not to bow down without a fight. She surprised the fourth seed by going for a forehand back behind her that gave her a break back point. Muguruza lost her footing and the set was soon back on level terms.
But the 22-year-old was unfazed by the sudden turn of events. She produced some fantastic ball-striking from both wings to break Serena once again and lead 6-5.
The top seed had two break points while Muguruza was serving for the set. That did not trouble the fourth seed at all. She looked unperturbed and summoned some clutch serve to save them and with her thunderous down-the-line backhand, she grabbed the first set 7-5.
The younger player was again the first one to take the lead in the second set as she broke the American in the very first game. The joy was short-lived though for Muguruza peppered her next service game with a couple of double faults which gave up the advantage she had.
The Spanish girl pounced again for another break which she consolidated to race ahead 3-1.
Muguruza continued to seek shorter replies from the 21-time Slam champion and slammed them into corners. The American’s desperate efforts to make in-roads into Muguruza’s service games failed as the youngster surged to 4-2.
Despite throwing in double faults, the Spaniard continued to have the upper hand as the 34-year-old apparently struggled with her movement. She had four match points with Serena serving at 3-5 but her highly experienced opponent held on.
She came out totally composed to clinch the title in the very next game on an incredible lob, thereby also claiming her maiden Grand Slam title.