Muguruza vows to learn from Serena defeat
Garbine Muguruza vowed to learn from her heartbreaking Wimbledon final defeat to Serena Williams on Saturday and spark a next generation challenge to the veteran American.
The 21-year-old Spaniard went down to a 6-4, 6-4 loss which allowed Williams to secure a sixth Wimbledon title and 21st Grand Slam.
But Muguruza enjoyed spells when she had the world number one worried, breaking in the first game on her way to a 4-2 lead and then clawing her way back from 1-5 down in the second set before the American rallied to victory.
“I’m going to leave here being really motivated,” said world number 20 Muguruza who was playing in her first Grand Slam final.
“I think I’m the most motivated person right now. This gives me a lot of power to keep practicing and improving, to see what else I can do in my next tournaments.
“I’m playing really good. So I keep working and see now the hard court season goes.”
Muguruza was attempting to become the first Spanish woman since Conchita Martinez in 1994 to win Wimbledon.
A consolation will be moving into the world top 10 on Monday after a Wimbledon fortnight which had seen her defeat the higher-ranked Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki.
The tournament was comfortably her best performance at the majors having made the quarter-finals at the last two French Opens. In Paris in 2014, she had knocked out Williams on her way to the last eight.
“I learned that every match is very important. You know, the first rounds are really hard because you’re nervous. If you get through all these situations and you’re mentally tough, you have the chance to play like these kind of matches,” said the Venezuelan-born Muguruza.
“I learned that it’s so hard, a Grand Slam. It’s like two weeks with a lot of emotion.”
She added: “It’s hard to concentrate on a final because you have Serena in front of you.
“You’re thinking, She won five times this. You’re like this is your first final. You know that you don’t have so many chances to win the match.
“You’re like, Okay, every point, every point, don’t lose this point.”
Muguruza also believes that seeing Williams on the other side of the net proved that even the greatest suffer stagefright.
In the opening game of the final, the 33-year-old served up three double faults and dropped serve.
“I learned that all the people are nervous, even Serena, in a final, because I saw it, and that I have a good level. I have to believe that I can be there. Here I have the proof, in Wimbledon, that I was really close.”
Last year, Muguruza lost in the first round at Wimbledon while she made just the second round in 2013.
That left her ambivalent over her grass-court ability which wasn’t helped by a first round exit in Birmingham and a second round loss in Eastbourne in the run-up to the All England Club.
“I came here with another mentality from last year because I didn’t like grass so much before. And this year I came here thinking, No, I like grass.
“Seriously, Garbine, you like grass. My game is going to help. Every day thinking this, you know, it worked.” TVJ
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