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Muguruza dethrones Serena Williams in Paris Finals

By Jacob Akindele
05 June 2016   |   2:17 am
The tournament schedule kept date, for the finals despite the rain of the past fortnight. It was classic match-up of the 35-year old American and the young 23-year old number 4 player in the world.
Spain's Garbine Muguruza receives the trophy after winning the final of the French Open tennis tournament. PHOTO: AFP

Spain’s Garbine Muguruza receives the trophy after winning the final of the French Open tennis tournament. PHOTO: AFP

Spain’s Garbine Muguruza defeated Serena Williams in straight sets, 7/5; 6/4 to claim her first Grand Slam title. In losing, Williams fell, yet again, of attaining the 22nd career Grand Slam title to tie the record by Germany’s Steffi Graff.

The tournament schedule kept date, for the finals despite the rain of the past fortnight. It was classic match-up of the 35-year old American and the young 23-year old number 4 player in the world.

Serena served first in the opening set and held. So did Garbine. Serena held her next serve to lead 2-1in games. In the fourth game, the Spaniard led 30-15 but faced a break point at 30-40. She served hard to deuce. Serena had a break point with an easy volley winner but it was cancelled with an ace timed at 174kph. She had game point when Serena sent a service return out. Garbine won the game to level the tally.

She also took Serena’s serve in the fifth game. Serving to consolidate the break, Garbine hit two successive double faults; but a line ball and a service return error helped her level 30-all. She drilled Serena from side to side and drew a deep return for game point, which she clinched for 4-2.

In the seventh game, Williams led 30-love when a second serve was drilled back at 129kph for a winner. Williams replied with a 169 kph ace and delivered a winning serve to reduce tally 3-4. In the eighth game, Williams broke to level 4 games apiece. In the ninth, she raced to a 30-love lead with an ace and she held on to game for a 5-4 lead. Muguruza held to level.

Then Serena fell behind 0-30 on an adventurous drop shot that her opponent ran down. At 30-all, there were crosscourt exchanges before the Spaniard drove a backhand down the line for break point. She got it with a powerful service return, for break and a lead of 6-5. Serving for the set, she lost first the first point but leveled at 15-all. With two double faults, she faced break point, cancelled it with a service winner and then unleashed an ace for three set points. She won the game and the set 7-5.

In the second set, Williams opened serving and won the first point. She fell behind 15-30. Garbine hit a service return crosscourt to Serena’s left side to earn break point and was won when Serena hit a backhand into net. In the second game, a netted forehand was followed by a hard serve direct to Serena’s body and it was 30-0. She was wrong-footed by Serena to level 30-all. In the next crucial point, Garbine had a forehand put-away but sent it straight back to Serena who lobbed over her for a rally lost by the Spaniard.

She deuced with a big serve, but three double faults cost her game. Serving to take a lead, Serena won the first point but aggressive returns from Muguruza led to three break points and the second service break in the set.