How such giant canyon can exist between these two supremely talented players is a testament to the greatness of Serena Williams. She hasn’t beaten Williams since. For me, it’s exactly the opposite. That’s one of the reasons that she’s in the position she’s in today.
Her game in high gear, history in the offing,
is perfectly content to let everyone else talk about what a victory in the Wimbledon final would mean. If she couldn’t serve well, and couldn’t stay with Williams once the ball was in play, Sharapova was in trouble.
$69.7 million: Career prize money for Williams, which is double Sharapova who ranks second all-time.
Serena Williams of the US celebrates after winning her match against Maria Sharapova of Russian Federation (right) yesterday.
Nothing to do with Sharapova, said Williams coach, Patrick Mouratoglou.
“I don’t have words to explain it,” Muguruza told BBC Sport. “Immediately the match turned into a nightmare for her”. The five-times Wimbledon champion has mastered an oppressive, pugilistic style that Sharapova has neither the nerve nor tactical versatility to match.
All the shouting and wailing, all the “Sugarpova” candies and modelling contracts in the world, all the jibes about love lives, are no protection out there on the court against the sheer power and aggression of Williams at her best.
Williams triumphed for the 17th time in succession against Sharapova to reach another Wimbledon final, where she will meet the No 20 seed Gabine Mugaruza.
Sharapova can beat any other player on the WTA Tour on any given day.
But such talk is banned for the time being, Williams determined to free her mind from any extra pressure, and she preferred to take the more insouciant attitude of an old veteran who has been there, done that, seen it all.
And besides, of more concern to Sharapova is finding a way to defeat Williams. (The accomplishment is known as the “Serena Slam” since she achieved the feat in 2003.).
But Sharapova isn’t the only one struggling.
Of late, Williams has been particularly dominant. “Sorry”, she called out, softly, to her opponent. Since that time, Williams has won an incredible 14 Grand Slam titles.
Since then, the pair have developed a long-running rivalry, which has at times spilled into the territory of open animosity.
Only two weeks ago, Muguruza lost to Britain’s Jo Konta in the third round at Eastbourne, and she had never gone beyond the quarter-finals of a grand slam before. And, while Sharapova continued to make more of a battle of the second set, Williams thumped down three aces when serving for the set to wrap up victory in style.
“But Muguruza will not be an easy match up”.
Muguruza will try and stop the inevitable on Saturday.
“To have Serena in a final is the hardest match you can have to win a Grand Slam“, Muguruza said.
The reigning Australian and French Open champion is now the overwhelming favourite to complete the third leg of that calendar slam, with no other true big-hitters left in the Wimbledon draw. Past year at the French Open she handed Williams her worst ever loss at a major, 6-2, 6-2.
Williams is also one win away from a 21st Grand Slam title, one short of the Open era record held by Graf.
If Williams’ run over the past few years has proven anything, it’s that while she’s not unbeatable, she is peerless.
Muguruza, the youngest of the four women’s semifinalists, will bid to become the first Spaniard to win the Wimbledon women’s title since Conchita Martinez in 1994.