Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

After nine years, Venus faces final reckoning against Muguruza

After nine years, Venus faces final reckoning against Muguruza

Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza will meet for just the fifth time on Saturday, as the women's 2017 Wimbledon tournament comes to a conclusion. "I feel much more calm, am kind of controlling my emotions more than the last time", said Muguruza, and added that she was drawing on the experience of Martinez.

At 37, Williams is the oldest Wimbledon finalist since Martina Navratilova was the 1994 runner-up at that age.

Perhaps even more relevant is how she has developed since beating the younger Williams sister to join Martinez as a Spanish Grand Slam victor previous year.

Venus has quite a history at the grass-court major, winning her first Grand Slam title in London in 2000.

Muguruza can struggle to settle into tournaments due to her heavy ball striking, when it's off she plays scrappy, error-strewn tennis, when it's on she's close to unstoppable, as displayed during her 6-1/6-1 victory against Magdalena Rybarikova in Thursdays semi-final. Defending Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, now on a pregnancy hiatus, set that record by winning this year's Australian Open at 35 years, 125 days. Too few of those on Centre Court and Henman Hill knew the British No 1 well enough to love her.

Muguruza is through to the final for the second time in three years and is looking to go one better after losing to Serena in 2015.

Williams will appear in her ninth Wimbledon final, eight years after her last appearance in the title match at SW19.

And the Spaniard believes her own game has gone up another level since playing those first two Grand Slam finals. She has proven that when she is on a hot streak, she can be unstoppable, as she was over her two weeks at French Open in 2016, where she even dispatched off Serena easily.

"I don't think it's going to be different".

Standing in the way of Williams and a drought-breaking eighth Grand Slam title is former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza.

After being diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome - an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue - in 2011, Williams has roared back in recent years and is into her second Grand Slam final of 2017, having lost to sister Serena at the Australian Open.

"For the last years, you see a lot of Williams surname", she said. The 4th round pitted her against World No.1 Angelique Kerber, and she squeezed through 6-4 in a deciding 3rd set. "She's been really playing well on grass". I have to go out there and take it and play well. Here is everything you need to know entering the third Grand Slam ladies' singles final of the year. "And usually it's her in these finals, so I'm trying my best to represent "Williams" as best as I can".

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