Garbine Muguruza clinched her maiden Wimbledon title with a straight set victory against Venus Williams, two years after losing in the final to younger Williams’ sister – Serena.
After a shaky opening set Muguruza roared home to a 7-5, 6-0 win, effectively ending Venus’ fairy tale run and dream of becoming the oldest women’s champion in the open era.
Venus, 37, appeared to have the edge in the opening set, as she was up 5-4 and had two break point opportunities at 15-40 off the Muguruza serve.
But Muguruza refused to go down without a fight, ultimately gritting her way out of trouble to win the next nine straight games, demolishing a fading Venus in the second set.
“Two years ago I lost in the final to Serena and she told me one day I was going to maybe win and hey, two years after here I am,” Muguruza said in a courtside interview.
Venus struck more aces (three compared to one) and more winners (17 to 14) than Muguruza, but she also made more than double the amount of unforced errors than the Spaniard (25 compared to 11).
As always Venus was gracious in defeat: “Congratulations, Garbine. Amazing,” she said on court.
“I know hard you work and what this must mean to you and your family. Beautiful.”
She also had a message for pregnant sister, Serena, wasn’t able to defend her title.
“I miss you. I tried my best to do the same things you do, but I think that there will be other opportunities, I do.”
In the post match news conference, Venus also hinted she would be back next year.
“I definitely would have loved to have converted some of those break points,” she said.
“But Muguruza competed really well. So credit to her. She just dug in there and managed to play better. I’ve had a great two weeks. I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer.”
The victory marked Muguruza’s second Grand Slam title adding to the 2016 French Open crown.
Meanwhile, the men’s champion will be decided tonight with Roger Federer and Marin Cilic set to do battle.
History waits for either champion. Roger Federer is on the cusp of an historic eighth Wimbledon title and nineteenth Grand Slam, while Cilic is hoping to become the first seventh seed to capture the trophy.
The pair met in the quarterfinal stage of the Championships last year with Cilic flying to an early two sets to love lead. A relentless Federer was forced to dig deep and he ultimately clinched the match in a thrilling five sets.
“We played here last year and I had to come back from two sets to love and match point down,” Federer said.
“It was a brutal match. He crushed me at the US Open in 2014, he played lights out — hopefully he doesn’t do that again.”
Federer has never lost a Wimbledon final to a player outside of the top two. He has also won an incredible 90 matches, out of a possible 102 at Wimbledon, making him the most successful player at the Championships.
“I feel very privileged to be in another final,” Federer said after defeating Tomas Berdych in the semi-final.
“I can’t almost believe it’s true after what’s already happened this year (winning the Australian Open).”
He also boasts the 6-1 win-loss advantage against Cilic, but Cilic’s sole victory did come at Grand Slam level when he stunned Federer in straight sets in the 2014 US Open semi-final, before going on to win his maiden major title.
“It’s definitely great for me to be in the final of a Grand Slam again,” Cilic said.
“I felt that my level of tennis in the past several weeks is really on a high level, and that has given me a lot of consistency with my mindset.
“Obviously, it’s going to be a big match for me. But it’s great thing that I have already played one Grand Slam final, and I believe it’s going to be easier to prepare.”
The final showdown between Federer and Cilic is scheduled to begin at 11:00pm AEST.
Blake Ellis and Matteo Martineau lost to Axel Geller and Yu Hsiou Hsu (2) – 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 10-8
Day 12 schedule
CENTRE COURT – 2:00PM
- Marin Cilic (CRO)  v Roger Federer (SUI) 
- Jamie Murray (GBR)  / Martina Hingis (SUI)  v Henri Kontinen (FIN) / Heather Watson (GBR)