Serena Williams v Garbine Muguruza: Fearless newcomer takes on peerless champion
Published 11/07/2015 | 11:34
In the curious case of the entourage versus the empty seats, something's got to give when Serena Williams tackles Garbine Muguruza for the Wimbledon title.
Williams rolled her eyes before groaning "It's all about luck" when asked if rapper Drake could prove her Wimbledon charm in Saturday's final.
Muguruza insisted "I'm not superstitious" despite banning her parents from jetting into south west London from Barcelona - fearful of messing with a winning formula.
Williams can complete a second "Serena slam" - holding all four major titles at once - this weekend, while 21-year-old Muguruza steps into her maiden grand slam showpiece.
"It's all about luck, you've got to keep your luck around," said Williams, visibly unimpressed by the mere notion of seeking fortune's favour.
Claim a sixth Wimbledon crown on Saturday and 33-year-old Williams will only need to retain her US Open title at the end of the summer to complete her first calendar grand slam.
Williams contends the superstar support that has dazzled the players' box and kept paparazzi busy throughout the Wimbledon fortnight has no bearing on her progress.
Drake, supermodel Karlie Kloss, R and B star John Legend and wife Chrissy Teigen and even Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's wife Dasha Zhukova have graced Williams' box at SW19.
Rap star Drake even went the extra mile by taking a seat in one of Williams' press conferences.
"We've been friends for so many years, just like family," said Williams of Drake, still rumoured to be a love interest.
Asked if the Toronto-born rapper and producer would be on hand for the Muguruza showdown, Williams offered another sardonic reply.
"Oh, I hope so," she said. "We're kind of like we're on a streak right now, we got to do this."
The only streak everyone cares about and Williams is desperate to downplay is that calendar slam bid.
Muguruza grew up idolising and mimicking Williams - she was just five when the American won her first grand slam at the 1999 US Open.
The Barcelona resident claims to have few qualms about attempting to quash Williams' shot at history, but belied her outward projection by ordering her parents to watch the final from Spain, not the Centre Court box.
"My parents, they're going to be in Barcelona watching from the TV," said Muguruza.
"I don't want to change anything, but I'm not superstitious."
Muguruza would at least admit "I brush my teeth at the same time, I get out of bed with the same leg," to underline her winning Wimbledon routine.
Two rivals both alike in denial: but when battle commences there will be no hiding just how both covet the famous Venus Rosewater Dish.
Here is look at how the pair compare:
Williams: 5ft 9in
SINGLES TITLES THIS YEAR
CAREER SINGLES TITLES
GRAND SLAM SINGLES TITLES
PRIZE MONEY THIS YEAR*
CAREER PRIZE MONEY*
ACES IN WIMBLEDON 2014
WINS IN PAST MEETINGS
*excludes Wimbledon 2014 earnings