Wimbledon 2017: Feisty Garbine Muguruza raring for Venus Williams final

Garbine Muguruza knows what it’s like to lose a Wimbledon final – and she has no intention of playing a supporting role in a Venus Williams fairytale.

If her semi-final against unseeded Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova had been played on a school playground, the Spaniard would have been in detention for bullying.

Rybarikova was outclassed from the warm-up onwards and went down 6-1 6-1 in a blink-and-you’ll-miss it affair that was arguably the least dramatic match played at these Championships.

Muguruza lost to Serena Williams in the final two years ago and now faces her older sister, eyeing history as she seeks to win her sixth title here, nine years after her last and 17 years after her first.

“Venus certainly knows how to win Wimbledon finals and it’s going to be historic,” she said.

“A final is a final but everybody has equal chances and only one’s going to win. She may be the favourite but the racquet has to talk.

“All the great champions have won this tournament. I always stare at the wall that has all the champions on it and lots of the names are the same. There are lots of Williams on there but I’d like to put a Spanish name on there.

“I’m just going to keep doing the same thing. Two years ago it was just a surprise because grass was something new for me.

“I’m ready now. I know what it’s like to lose a Wimbledon final, it’s not nice and I’d like to change that feeling.”

Muguruza is advised by Conchita Martinez, the last Spanish woman to win a singles title here in 1994, and will certainly be a match for the power game of Williams.

The slight and slender Rybarikova – ranked 450th in the world just a few months ago – looked like she’d been knocked off her feet by her rivals’ unrelenting groundstrokes – and then, as the game quickly looked a lost cause, appeared as though she wanted the ground to swallow her up.

“If somebody had told me before the tournament that I’d reach the semi-finals, I’d have taken it. But if you told me I’m going to lose 6-1, 6-1 … perhaps not,” she said.

“I’ve never seen her play so well, I just couldn’t do anything to compete with her. I’m disappointed but in the morning I will feel better about it. I just don’t remember when I played against someone who was that good.”

Muguruza will move back into the world’s top five whatever happens in the final and her key going forward will be to stop the inconsistencies in her game, a by-product of her high-risk style.

However, new coach Sam Sumyk and advisor Martinez have added some steel to her often unpredictable strategy.

“Conchita is really helping me to deal with the stress of the tournament. She just knows how to prepare, how to train, what to do,” she added.

“To have her by my side gives me confidence because she knows what it takes to win here.”

Unfortunately that’s something her final opponent knows first hand too.

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Featured image courtesy of Wimbledon via YouTube, with thanks

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