GARBINE MURGURUZA won a battle of the generations by thrashing Venus Williams to secure her first Wimbledon title.
Williams, 37, was bidding to become the oldest female grand slam singles winner in the open era but Muguruza, 14 years her junior, delivered an emphatic 7-5 6-0 victory.
It is Muguruza’s second major title, adding to the French Open crown she won last year, and makes her the first Spanish woman to win the singles here since her coach Conchita Martinez in 1994.
When the 23-year-old’s challenge revealed Williams’ last forehand to have landed long, she crouched down in disbelief with her face planted in her hands.
Muguruza earns £2.2million for this win at the All England Club and also makes up for finishing runner-up to Venus’ sister Serena in the final of two years ago.
When Muguruza landed her first major title at Roland Garros last year, she had been circled as the natural successor to Serena as the queen of women’s tennis.
Results, however, had largely failed to meet expectations until this year, when she has rediscovered the sort of form to suggest this will not be her last grand slam success.
Muguruza showed guts to sneak a nerve-shredding opening set, saving two set points before hitting Williams decisively one game later.
She then showed ruthlessness in the second as she blew Williams away in six games that lasted just 26 minutes.
“I had I think the hardest match today against Venus,” Muguruza said.
“She is such an incredible player, I grew up watching her play. It is incredible to play her in the final. She was definitely an inspiration and it’s incredible to play her here.”
On losing to one Williams and then beating another, Muguruza said: “Two years ago I lost in the final here to Serena. She said maybe one day I will win. So here I am.”