Three major titles later, Williams will meet Muguruza again – but the elder stateswoman does not expect the young Spaniard to be fearful.
Victories in the last week over Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska have strengthened Muguruza’s self-confidence, but it is the memory of her remarkable 6-2, 6-2 victory over Williams at last year’s French Open that gives the world No 20 her biggest reason for optimism.
Sharapova has hinted that the rift with Serena Williams and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou may never heal. In this year’s Australian Open, Williams avoided another upset at the hands of Muguruza, but only just barely. Muguruza said she was hoping for the best when the shot which took her to match point was called out -possibly by a member of Radwanska’s team in the player’s box.
She did beat Serena in the French Open previous year, but this is on grass and Serena is playing at a very high level.
The second semi final will see home town favourite Andy Murray face seven-time Wimbledon victor, Roger Federer, who has yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament and seems to be getting better.
After denying any thoughts of that elusive slam all tournament Williams admitted “the obvious” most certainly fuels her desire to keep on winning. She made me improve, so she has me on my toes.
Williams walking out for a Wimbledon final has become a familiar sight over the last decade, even if she has not won since 2012, but she said she would still be feeling the butterflies on Saturday.
“She has so many good things”.
A first grand slam title match looms for Barcelona-based Muguruza, who said it felt like a dream and headed away from the All England Club to speak to her parents about tomorrow’s final, and the prospect of their presence.
Another topic five-time Wimbledon champion Williams has been reluctant to discuss is all that is at stake for her at the conclusion of this fortnight.
After a tug-of-war 9th game of the second set, which Sharapova managed to win, Williams cleaned up the final game of the match in spectacular fashion – delivering a powerful 121 miles per hour ace that sealed the deal.
The World no. 1 didn’t waste time in the first set, taking advantage over Sharapova’s weak second serve and overpowering her from the baseline.
Williams continued: “I’ve won so many Slam titles”. “I think that’s the game I have to play against everyone, not just Serena”, she said.
“She knows that I can win against her, that I’m not afraid”. “Some losses you are raging about and some you learn from”.
And although she says Saturday’s showpiece will be “the best day of my tennis career”, she wants the situation to remain unchanged, meaning the parents who have encouraged her since the age of three to play the game will be watching on television.
It was an unusual conclusion to a match that had looked like being a quick-fire win for Muguruza in her first major semifinal.
“So that completely gets me motivated to work harder and try to reach my goals”.
“I don’t want the pressure of that, and I’m not thinking of that”, Williams maintained after continuing her 11-year mastery of Sharapova.