Sunday 18 March 2018

Wimbledon fans rally for Venus Williams after stunning Muguruza victory

Williams missed out on becoming the oldest-ever woman Grand Slam title-holder.

(Facundo Arrizabalga/PA)
(Facundo Arrizabalga/PA)

By Peter Cary

Spain’s Garbine Muguruza stunned Wimbledon spectators with a straight-sets victory over Venus Williams at the women’s final on Saturday, but fans rallied round the former champion after her rapid change in form.

Williams, 37, who was to become the oldest female Grand Slam winner if she prevailed, quickly fell apart after losing the first set, finishing the championship with a 7-5, 6-0 defeat.

Mugurza closed the second set after just 26 minutes, marking the 23-year-old’s first Wimbledon title and second grand slam win, a year after beating Williams’ younger sister, Serena, to claim the French Open in 2016.

But despite Mugurza’s spellbinding play, loyal fans took to social media to express their support for Williams, who won her first Wimbledon final at the age of 20 against Lindsay Davenport in 2000.

In her post-match acceptance speech, a beaming Muguruza drew a chorus of bemused laughs as she highlighted the age difference between herself and her opponent.

She said: “I had, I think, the hardest match today against Venus.

“She’s such an incredible player: I grew up watching her play.”

However, Williams remained composed and sportsmanlike throughout, and congratulated the Spaniard on her win.

She said: “I know how hard you work, and I know how much this means to you and your family, so well done today. Beautiful.”

Muguruza will now climb from 15th to fifth in the new WTA world rankings on Monday.

Press Association

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