“Here it is”.
The words of the new Wimbledon champion as she cradled the Venus Rosewater Dish in her arms and spoke directly down the camera to her coach, absent due to the birth of his child.
This is not the way the Hollywood script was written, with 37-year-old Venus Williams spurning set points to eventually lose the opener and capitulate in the second, handing Garbine Muguruza her first Wimbledon title on a plate and deny the American’s legions of Centre Court fans their fairytale ending.
That is not to downplay the achievement of the 23-year-old Spaniard, who withstood everything the five-time champion threw at her in a fearsome opening set, before steamrollering her way to a second Grand Slam title, 7-5 6-0.
Muguruza had experienced heartbreak on Centre Court before, losing to the younger Williams sister in the 2015 final – and with Serena telling her on that day that she would one day lift the coveted Dish, Venus was just left wishing it wasn’t against her.
And now, with her own name on the winner’s board she tried so hard to avoid looking at following her 2015 defeat, Muguruza can finally admire her place in history.
“I always look at the wall and see all the names and all the history. I lost that final,” she said.
“I was close. I didn’t want to lose this time, because I know the difference.
“I really know the difference of making a final and winning, which is incredible – I’m so happy my name is there now.
“I think once I go to the big court, I feel good. I feel like that’s where I want to be, that’s what I practice for.
“That’s where I play good. This is what I like. I’m happy to go to the Centre Court and to play the best player. That’s what motivates me.
“When I knew I was playing Venus in the final, I was actually looking forward to it.
“A Wimbledon final with Venus… she won five times, so she knows how to play.
“For me it was a challenge to play her, growing up watching her play. It’s something incredible. I was so excited to go out there and win, especially over somebody like a role model.”
Things had started well for the veteran American, opening with an ace and looking comfortable on her serve, thanks in part to a litany of forehand errors from her opponent.
But as the set drew on Muguruza’s radar became more accurate, the length of rallies extended and Williams could not live with the younger player’s endurance.
Two set points came and went for the tenth seed when leading 5-4, with Muguruza going on to seal the set courtesy of a Williams backhand into the net.
Three games in a row then quickly stretched to seven, eight, and the all important ninth as Williams lost a set to love for the first time in her career at Wimbledon.
Muguruza is now the first woman to beat both Williams sisters in Grand Slam finals, but with those wins the only major titles of her career, she is still searching for the consistency to regularly challenge in the world’s biggest tournaments.
“It’s very hard to find a recipe to feel good, fitness-wise, tennis-wise and mentally,” she added.
“I think in this tournament I put everything together, which is very hard. Normally, you know, you’re tired, I feel pain here, my confidence is not there.
“So I felt this tournament I find somehow to put everything together and perform good at every level.”
And having struggled with the expectation when defending her French Open crown this year – exiting in the fourth round – she is already looking forward to her Centre Court return in 2018, even if she knows it will not be straightforward.
“It’s not easy. It’s very good when you win it, and it’s hard after when you come back and you know you have to defend it,” she concluded.
“But that’s a good problem to have. It was tough obviously [in the French Open], because you have a lot of matches to go.
“You wanted the trophy back. But I’m happy to be in this situation. I’m happy that once again I see myself winning a Grand Slam, something that is so hard to do. It means a lot. It means a lot of confidence.”
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