French Open final 2016: Muguruza beats Serena to claim first Grand Slam title
After clinching her maiden grand slam title with a straight sets victory over world number one Serena Williams in the French Open final on Saturday (June 4), Garbine Muguruza said controlling her emotions had been the key to her success in the past fortnight.
Muguruza achieved the rare feat of overpowering Serena to win 7-5 6-4, becoming the first Spaniard to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998.
Although her hard-hitting game seems more suited to faster surfaces, Muguruza won 14 consecutive sets en route to the final after losing her opening set of the tournament.
It was Muguruza’s first final on the slow surface and she relied on a powerful first serve and jaw-dropping winners down the line to subdue the American in a battle of will.
In doing so, Muguruza joins compatriot Rafael Nadal in winning the prestigious tournament. However, she admitted she couldn’t comprehend how the men’s champion had won the tournament nine times.
Williams, who was gunning for a professional era record 22nd major title, got off to a solid start, winning her first service game to love and putting pressure on her opponent’s serve.
In the fourth game, Muguruza saved a break point with an unreturnable forehand, then a second with an ace.
The world number one said it was the Spaniard’s play in the big moments, on the big points, that won her the final.
“I think she has a bright future, obviously. She knows how to play on the big stage and clearly she knows how to win grand slams,” said Serena.
Williams has now lost the last two grand slam finals after falling to Angelique Kerber in the final of the Australian Open earlier this year.