What if Rafael Nadal went out of Wimbledon with a second round loss, Spain will still make its presence felt in a Wimbledon final this year. 21-year old Garbine Muguruza ensured that when she beat Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in three sets to reach her first Wimbledon final. She is the first Spanish woman to enter the women’s singles final of the Wimbledon after 19 years since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario did that in 1996. In Saturday’s final, the Spaniard will have a tough time against the world’s best tennis player and the top seed Serena Williams, who literally outplayed no.4 seed Maria Sharapova of Russia in the other semifinal on Thursday. But when Serena takes to court against Muguruza, she would certainly recall her unprecedented second round loss to the Spaniard in 2014 French Open. To this date, that defeat remains the American’s worst loss at a Grand Slam. Muguruza took three sets in beating Poland’s no.13 seed Radwanska in the first semifinal before Serena and Sharapova played their match later. The 33-year old Serena routed Sharapova, whose inconsistency with her first serve and error-prone game became her undoing. In their 11-year old rivalry, it was the 17th consecutive occasion that Serena had beaten Sharapova. Her victory brings Serena to within one match of her sixth Wimbledon title and a total of 21 Grand Slam titles.
Garrbine Muguruza began her match in style with a powerfully played first set, which she won 6-2 in 34 minutes after breaking Radwanska’s service in the first and fifth games. The 20th seed looked confident against Radwanska at the start of the second set and without any sign of nerves, opened up a 3-1 lead before the 13th seeded Radwanska fought back. The Pole reeled off six consecutive games to not only take the second set but began with a break in the decider. The young Spaniard did not lose heart and mounted her own challenge against Radwanska. She had a tough service game that she won and when Radwanska served, Muguruza obtained the crucial break. Hitting powerfully and playing some line-hugging shots, Muguruza broke Radwanska in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. But Radwanska was yet to give in as she faced Muguruza’s service and held two break points at 15-40. Regardless, the Spaniard fought back to hold her serve. After Radwanska also won her service game, Muguruza came back to serve out for a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory. On Sunday Muguruza she will try to emulate the 1994’s feat of Conchita Martinez, who was the first and the only Spanish woman to have won the Wimbledon title.
In the second semifinal, it was all about Serena Williams’ raw power and her booming serve. For most part, Sharapova looked like a bystander rather than the 5-time majors champion and a former world no.1. Serena was dominant from start as she easily took the first set. In the second, Sharapova led on serve but it was more an illusion than any indication of a fight-back. Once Serena regained her rhythm, she forced Sharapova into errors. The Russian struggled with her serve and made silliest of errors. The decidedly one-sided encounter ended in Serena’s favor 6-2, 6-4 with the world no.1 sending down 13 aces and 29 winners. When Serena faces Muguruza on Saturday, she would be expecting to embellish her tennis achievement with milestones of six Wimbledon titles and 21 Grand Slam victories.