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Garbine Muguruza tops Venus Williams for 1st Wimbledon title

  • Spain's Garbine Muguruzam hold the trophy after defeating Venus Williams of the United States in the Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) Tim Ireland

  • Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates as she beats Venus Williams of the United States to win the Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Kirsty Wigglesworth

  • Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates after she dfeated Venus Williams of the United States to win the Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Kirsty Wigglesworth

  • Spain's Garbine Muguruza returns to Venus Williams of the United States Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (Facundo Arrizabalaga/Pool Photo via AP) Facundo Arrizabalaga

  • Venus Williams of the United States looks down after loosing a point against Spain's Garbine Muguruza during their Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) Tim Ireland

  • Venus Williams of the United States wipes her face as she plays Spain's Garbine Muguruza during the Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) Tim Ireland

  • Spain's Garbine Muguruza returns to Venus Williams of the United States during the Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Kirsty Wigglesworth

  • Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates after winning a point against Venus Williams of the United States during the Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Kirsty Wigglesworth

  • Venus Williams of the United States returns to Spain's Garbine Muguruza under the closed roof of Centre Court during the Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) Tim Ireland

  • Venus Williams of the United States reacts as she loses a point on her serve to Spain's Garbine Muguruza during the Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) Tim Ireland

  • Spain's Garbine Muguruza, left, greets Venus Williams of the United States at the net after winning the Women's Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Kirsty Wigglesworth



Associated Press
Sunday, July 16, 2017

LONDON — Garbine Muguruza already knew what it’s like to lose to a Williams in the Wimbledon final. Now she knows how it feels to beat one for a championship at the All England Club.

Muguruza powered her way to her first title at Wimbledon and second at a Grand Slam tournament Saturday, beating a fading Venus Williams 7-5, 6-0 by claiming the final’s last nine games.

At 37, Williams was bidding for her sixth championship at the grass-court major, 17 years after her first. And she was so close to gaining the upper hand against Muguruza, holding two set points at 5-4 in the opener. But Muguruza fought those off and did not drop a game the rest of the way.

In 2015, in her first Grand Slam final, Muguruza lost to Williams’ younger sister, Serena, whom the Spaniard then defeated in the French Open title match last year.

This time, with the Centre Court roof closed because of rain earlier in the day, the 23-year-old Muguruza was too good down the stretch.

Williams twice was a point away from winning the opening set, ahead 5-4 while Muguruza served at 15-40. On the first set point, a 20-stroke exchange ended when Williams blinked first, putting a forehand into the net. On the second, Williams sent a return long, and Muguruza pumped her fist.

It was as if getting out of that jam freed up Muguruza — and failing to capitalize on the opportunity deflated Williams. That began the match-closing nine-game run for Muguruza.

Williams began faltering, spraying her shots to unintended spots — long, wide, into the net — while the younger, less-experienced Muguruza stayed steady, pounding groundstrokes with all her force. Williams finished with 25 unforced errors, 14 more than Muguruza made.

It was an anticlimactic conclusion for Williams, who was the oldest Wimbledon finalist since 1994. Diagnosed in 2011 with Sjogren’s syndrome, an energy-sapping autoimmune disease, she learned to deal with that condition by turning to a plant-based diet and altering other routines. It took a while for her to get back to her best tennis.

Her resurgence began in earnest at Wimbledon a year ago, when she made it to the semifinals. Then, at the Australian Open in January, Williams reached the final, where she lost to her sister.

Serena is off the tour for the rest of this year because she is pregnant, and Venus spoke this week about missing her and wanting to put “Williams” on a trophy once again.

She came close to achieving that, but Muguruza would not allow it.