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Final Preview: Williams v Muguruza

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Originally published on 15/07/17 00:00

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) [14] v Venus Williams (USA) [10]

The pair have met on four occasions, but never on grass, and Williams has only lost to the Spaniard once.

Williams is attempting to become the oldest woman to win the Wimbledon title in the Open era. The 37-year-old has not held the Venus Rosewater Dish aloft since 2008, but she is just one victory away from an eighth Grand Slam success.

The American has been in excellent form throughout the championships and she has dropped just one set en route to the final. Her serve has been exceptional, and she has won 80% of points behind her first delivery.

Muguruza appears to thrive in the Grand Slam environment. The 23-year-old has reached seven finals in her six-year career and three have been at majors. She clearly enjoys the big stage and she will like her chances of becoming the first Spaniard to win the women’s trophy since Conchita Martínez in 1994.

The Spaniard, who defeated top seed, Angelique Kerber, in the fourth round, has finally rediscovered her best form after a disappointing 12 months. She is playing with a freedom that has been absent for much of her season and her ball-striking has been exemplary.

Muguruza has played every match on her terms. She has blasted a total of 135 winners and her proficiency in the forecourt has supplemented her baseline brawn. The Spaniard will look to dictate proceedings against her like-minded opponent however it’s vital she maintains a high first-serve percentage.

Williams returned Johanna Konta’s serve in the semi-finals with vigour and the Brit won just 44% of points behind her second delivery. The five-time champion is always on the prowl and her latest rival will do well to keep her at bay.

2017 appears to be the year of the veteran, and the experience of Williams could prove to be the difference. 

Prediction: Williams in three

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