Tennis

Williams win completes ‘Serena Slam’

Serena Williams beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza to win Wimbledon for the sixth time and complete the ‘Serena Slam’ as the holder of all four major titles.

The 33-year-old American won 6-4 6-4 on Centre Court to claim her 21st Grand Slam title and third of 2015.

Williams withstood a late fightback from 20th seed Muguruza, 21, to come through in one hour and 23 minutes.

She will head to the US Open next month aiming to complete the first calendar year Grand Slam of her career.

Muguruza was playing in her first Grand Slam final and took a 4-2 lead, before giving the top seed a mighty scare by battling back from a set and 5-1 down with two breaks of serve.

She could not quite complete the comeback, however, with an error-strewn service game setting up Williams to clinch a landmark win when the Spaniard found the tramlines.

“There was definitely pressure towards the end,” said Williams, who also completed the ‘Serena Slam’ in 2003.

“Garbine started playing really well and I just had to think to stay out there and work really hard.

“I am having so much fun out on the court. Everyday is a pleasure to be playing and winning Wimbledon.”

A victory in New York would see the world number one match Steffi Graf’s calendar Slam of 1988, and tie the German’s open era record of 22 major wins.

Williams, who turns 34 next month, replaces Martina Navratilova as the oldest Wimbledon champion in the open era, and the nine-time winner was among several former champions watching history made from the Royal Box.

The weight of those achievements had appeared to be taking its toll on Williams when she refused to discuss the potential ‘slam’ during interviews, and the American started the final nervously.

Three double faults contributed to her fearsome serve being broken in the opening game and 20th seed Muguruza was swinging freely in her first major final.

At 0-30 down in the third game, Williams was looking at falling a double-break behind, only for Muguruza to miss a second-serve return.

It sparked Williams into life and she began to exert pressure on the Spaniard’s serve with a succession of returns that clipped the baseline.

Four games in a row brought her the set and, despite making her fourth and fifth double faults on a mixed serving day, Williams moved to the brink of victory with a run of 12 points in a row.

What followed brought the Centre Court crowd to life as the 20-time Grand Slam champion was broken to love at 5-2, and then remarkably pegged back again when Muguruza saved a match point and fired a forehand winner on her fifth break point for 5-4.

Williams was now struggling but she got a helping hand from her opponent, who opened game 10 with a double fault and soon found herself 0-40 down.

When Muguruza sent the ball wide on match point it appeared that Williams was unsure whether or not she had won, and it took the reaction of the 15,000 spectators to confirm her achievement.

“I can’t believe I am standing here with another ‘Serena Slam’,” added Williams.

“It is so cool. It has been a pleasure and an honour to give so many years in this unbelievable place.”

Credit: BBC Sport

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