Garbine Muguruza grew up watching the Williams sisters win Grand Slam titles and transform the way women’s tennis was played. Muguruza admired them.
She loved the way the American siblings played. The way they competed; the way they carried themselves, AFP reports.
“I really like that they were very ambitious,’’ Muguruza said. “Every time they were playing, those girls, they really (wanted) to win. They’re very powerful…They intimidate the other people.’’
Now, at age 22, Muguruza is a major champion herself, taking the French Open title away from Serena Williams with a 7-5, 6-4 victory in the final Saturday to do it.
And Muguruza made clear afterward that she wants to continue to collect her sport’s most important trophies.
“Of course I’m very happy, but I’d like to have more,” Muguruza said. “My dream is to continue and win more tournaments, similar tournaments, and to dominate.”
That’s what the younger Williams has done for years. She owns 21 Grand Slam championships, one shy of Steffi Graf’s Open-era record, but has been having a hard time getting No. 22.
For a stretch of four major tournaments, up through a victory over Muguruza in the Wimbledon final last year, Williams went unbeaten, taking every title. Since then, though, Williams lost to Roberta Vinci in the semifinals of the US Open, where Flavia Pennetta wound up with her first major championship (and last, because she then announced her retirement); to Angelique Kerber in the Australian Open final, and now to Muguruza.
It is the first time since 2011-12 that three consecutive major trophies went to a first-time women’s champion.
“I thought about it. I thought about it yesterday. I’m like, ‘Come on. … You can do it,’” Muguruza said. “When you see people that are winning, and there’s new faces, (it) makes you think, like, ‘I can be one of those faces.’”
There is no doubt that she is.
When the new WTA rankings come out Monday, Muguruza will move up from No. 4 to a career-best No. 2, with only Williams ahead of her.
The Spaniard demonstrates the same sort of determination on a court that she observed in Williams and her sibling, hitting hard groundstrokes, aiming for lines, taking risks that bring real rewards.