Wimbledon 2017: Venus Williams, Garbine Muguruza breeze into final

By The Sports Xchange  |  July 13, 2017 at 12:16 PM
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Venus Williams booked her place in the Wimbledon singles final for the ninth time -- and first since 2009 -- with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 victory over Britain's Johanna Konta on Thursday at the All England Club in London.

The straight-set win allowed Williams to become only the second 37-year-old in the Open Era (since 1968) to reach a major final, joining Martina Navratilova (1994 Wimbledon). The 10th-seeded American has five singles titles at Wimbledon and six doubles championships under her belt.

Williams will look to add to her trophy case when she squares off in Saturday's final against 14th-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, who needed only 64 minutes to post a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Magdalena Rybarikova.

"I've played in a lot of finals here," Williams said in her televised interview after the match. "It's been a blessing. I couldn't have asked for more, but I'll ask for a little more. One more win would be amazing.

"It won't be a given, but I'm going to give it my all."

Williams did that and more on Thursday, using her potent serve to snap a 4-4 tie and benefiting from three unforced errors from the 26-year-old Konta to claim the first set.

Williams continued her strong serve in the second set to finish off Konta in one hour, 16 minutes. She improved her singles record to 87-14 at the All England Club, with titles coming in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008.

"She played so well," Williams said of Konta, who was bidding to become the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon final since Virginia Wade won in 1977.

"No point was easy. I just tried to climb on top each time to get another point."

Williams owns a 3-1 career mark versus Muguruza, who lost to Serena Williams in the final at Wimbledon in 2015.

Saturday's winner will also move into the Top 5 of the WTA rankings on Monday.

"Facing Venus, she won here, like, five times," Muguruza said prior to Williams' victory. "She knows how to play, especially Wimbledon finals. It's going to be, you know, like a historic final again."

Muguruza got out the blocks in a hurry, winning the first five games of the initial set to put the 87th-ranked Slovak on her heels. The 23-year-old Muguruza broke twice to open the second set, claiming the first four games before dismissing Rybarikova in a mere 64 minutes.

"I think I played very well, for sure," Muguruza said in her televised interview after the match. "It was a tricky match. (Rybarikova) was playing very good during the tournament, and I think today I stepped out on the court super-confident and everything went well."

Muguruza recorded 22 winners against just 11 unforced errors in the quick match. Conversely, Rybarikova mustered just eight winners and lost serve on five occasions.

Rybarikova was playing in the semifinals at a major tournament for the first time in her career.

"If somebody told me before the tournament I'm going to be in semifinal, I'd for sure take it," Rybarikova said. "You tell me I'm going to lose 6-1, 6-1 ...

"Obviously it's very short after the match, and I'm a little bit disappointed. But it's still great. Maybe it's even better. Can you imagine I had lost 8-6 in the third? That would crazy for me. I would be so close. But I was not that close today. She deserved to win completely this match."

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