Monday 6 June 2016

Garbine Muguruza's French Open Win Will Change Women's Tennis

Tennis legend Billie Jean King has said that Garbine Muguruza's French Open win on Saturday signals a changing of the guard in women's tennis. The Spaniard took the trophy at Roland Garros after an impressive performance which saw her defeat defending champion Serena Williams 7-5 6-4.

Aged 22, Muguruza is one of only two Grand Slam winners to have been born in the 1990s, the other being Petra Kvitova. King, who also won her first singles Grand Slam at 22, said “The changing of the guard is starting. She's the one everyone's been talking about, for two years anyway. The kid's got such power and she wants it. Her backhand's just phenomenal, and her forehand too. The best players in the world hit down the line off a cross-court (shot) better than the others, and what does she do exceptionally well? She hits down the line off a cross court. It's harder to change direction, it takes more skill, so you always look for that. You look for the movement. She's very good at moving in with small steps. Twenty-two is a perfect age. I won my first Wimbledon at 22. She'll have a chance now to keep that up instead of winning big when you're 17 and you can't handle anything. You can just tell this is very good timing for what she's going to handle off the court as well because now there's pressures off the court that she's never had”.

The 12times Grand Slam winner expressed concern about Williams after she failed to match fourth seed Muguruza in the power department. Williams, who turns 35 next month, is one Grand Slam singles win away from equalling Steffi Graf's Open-era record of 22 slam singles titles. The American has not won a Slam singles title since she beat Muguruza in the Wimbledon final last year.

King said “Something's wrong with Serena. Her footwork was not what it should be, I don't think it's the 22, I just think she needs to get in a different place. I don't know her that well any more but she didn't look happy. I want her to be happy as a person. Forget the tennis. She doesn't have the same vim and vigour. I don't know if it's physical but something's not quite right. Maybe grass will pep her up a little

Muguruza was the first Spanish woman to the win the title since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998 and the first to reach the final since Conchita Martinez two years later.

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