Superb Venus rolls back the years

Superb Venus rolls back the years

Venus Williams claimed her first Wimbledon title in 2000, when her opponent on Saturday, Garbine Muguruza, was just six years old.

Venus, who has only lost one set so far in the tournament, has made no secret of how she wishes she had the company of her sister, who is at home in Florida, saying, "I'm terribly missing Serena" in a post-match interview after her semi-final victory. It's the third Grand Slam final of the Spaniard's career and the second championship match in the last three years here for Muguruza.

Saturday's winner will also move into the Top 5 of the WTA rankings on Monday. Body blows will be thrown until one of them succumbs.

Williams has great momentum, but a look at the cold, hard statistics suggests this will be a compelling race to the trophy.

And then there were two. Muguruza is at 55.6 and 66.8 percent, respectively; Williams is right at her elbow, winning 52.1 percent of her second serves and putting 65.8 percent of her first serves in play.

The veteran has steadily improved as the tournament has progressed, saving her best performance for the semi-final against Johanna Konta. Try to take it a step further. "She's still motivated to go for more, which is also very surprising".

The Spaniard has struggled for consistency since saluting at Roland Garros last year, and the Wimbledon final will be her first final at any level since that glorious day in Paris. Her most recent came in 2008, when she defeated her younger sister, Serena, for the title. Konta's subsequent loss of serve saw the first set slip away and the 26-year-old was unable to respond. "Even when I played against her, she never played that well". "I think not everybody can do that".

- Muguruza is the second player to face both Williams sisters in the final of the same major (Hingis faced Venus in US Open 1997 final and Serena in 1999). Muguruza has a tendency to hit flat powerful shots, which are particularly effective on a grass court as they skid through, and leave little opportunity for meaningful replies from opponents.

On playing American legend Williams, Muguruza added: 'She knows how to play, especially Wimbledon finals. It's a grand slam.

'Probably two years ago it was just a surprise because grass was something new for me. Only ten players have played in more. Meanwhile Williams, the veteran, continued adjusting a lace.

"You're not going to be always playing 100 percent". I just expected myself to be ready as much as I could.

Another quickfire hold and the pressure was back on the world number 87. Then it was like, 'Oh okay, well, I'm done'.

She saved two match points before Williams finally ended her resistance with a devilish forehand that flew past the Briton and left the American to twirl in celebration on Centre Court.

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