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

Wimbledon 2017: Garbine Muguruza poses formidable final hurdle for resurgent Venus Williams

Wimbledon 2017: Garbine Muguruza poses formidable final hurdle for resurgent Venus Williams

She has had a hard year since, dropping down the world rankings and making a tearful early exit when defending her French Open title in Paris last month, but she believes she is mentally stronger as a result of all that she has been through. Williams has hit 26 en route to the final.

Martinez remains the only Spanish woman to win Wimbledon.

AMERICAN VENUS WILLIAMS returns to Britain's Johanna Konta during their Women's Singles semifinal match on day nine at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London on Thursday.

It will be Williams's ninth at Wimbledon and the stage for a potential eighth grand slam crown and having defied the odds to reach this point, few would now bet against her.

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. She's dropped just one set during the tournament, and her powerful serve & groundstrokes have blended beautifully yet again with the grass. All were born in the year that Williams made her first main draw appearance at Wimbledon.

Last year the 23-year-old Spaniard turned the tables on Serena to win her maiden slam title at the French Open and was immediately hailed as the new leader of the women's game.

"I feel very focused".

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"I don't know that I play exactly the same way she does".

Williams is a veteran at this stage, and five titles can not be ignored.

The American, playing at her 20th Wimbledon, is back in her first singles final at the All England Club since 2009 - when she succumbed to Serena - after gathering momentum and form as the tournament has progressed.

She has had the tougher path to reach the final, including defeating world No 1 Angelique Kerber in three tight sets and former two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, but is into her second Wimbledon final. The last time Venus had reached multiple Slam finals in a calendar year was in 2003 (runner-up at AO and Wimbledon). Muguruza said it was all something of nothing.

The pair are first up on Centre Court, ahead of the men's doubles final and, third in line, the ladies' doubles final. However, this time it will not be Serena but Venus and on current form, she has the artillery to become a Grand Slam champion for a second time.

- Average ranking Venus' opponents this fortnight is 36. Muguruza has one title to her name, the 2016 French Open. "It won't be a given, but I'm going to give it my all".

The trips to the finals also moves both players up one of the most elite lists in tennis.

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