Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Williams - Muguruza, the expected final

Williams - Muguruza, the expected final

Williams plays Garbine Muguruza on Saturday and, unlike Charlotte Sterry, who lifted the trophy in 1908 aged 37 years and 282 days, she will nearly certainly not travel to the All England Club by bicycle. "I know how to do that a lot better", said Venus ahead of her 16th major final.

While those following her remarkable resurgence - she also reached this year's Australian Open final, losing to Serena - leaf through the record books picking out the key numbers, Williams, as she so often does, remains in her own serene world.

Back in the All England Club final after an eight-year absence, the 37-year-old hopes to become both the oldest Wimbledon and major victor since the Open era began in 1968. "I wish she was there physically, I miss her very much before the final".

By a twist of fate Martinez will be in Muguruza's corner on Saturday, as she has been for the past fortnight in the absence of her regular coach Sam Sumyk, whose wife is expecting a baby.

She also has the belief of knowing she can beat a Williams in a grand slam final - having overpowered Serena to win the French Open past year.

Yet, in the twilight of her career, Venus has hit a rich vein of form over the last 12 months. "I don't think I could be 37 and playing at that level".

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Thirty-seven-year-old Venus became the oldest player to reach Wimbledon final for 23 years after she crushed Britain's Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 in a one-sided semi-final clash. I think I'm here because I've been working not only the last few days, but longer time, getting ready for this kind of moment.

"I definitely want to be the one who takes the big one", Muguruza said. I have one more match that I'd like to be the victor of.

"I'm sure she's going to give me hopefully some things that will make a difference for me in the match".

Martinez became the only Spanish woman to win Wimbledon in 1994 and her soothing words of wisdom have guided Muguruza to her third Grand Slam final. "She's been really playing well on grass".

"All the names that I read on the honours board, I know all of them". Williams' last grand slam title was nine years ago, at Wimbledon in 2008; no player has had a winless streak longer than five years between two grand slam titles in the Open Era.

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