Tennis

The Garbine machine rolls on

Spaniard crushes rival in 64 minutes, to play Williams in Wimbledon final

Garbine Muguruza reached her second Wimbledon final in three years with a thumping 6-1, 6-1 win over unseeded Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova last night.

A visibly confident Muguruza needed just 64 minutes to beat the 87th-ranked Rybarikova, who had beaten third seed Karolina Pliskova and American Coco Vandeweghe on her unexpected run to the last four.

Muguruza, who lost to Serena Williams in the 2015 final, will face her sister Venus in tomorrow's final after the American beat home favourite Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 in the second semi-final.

AGGRESSIVE APPROACH

The Spaniard was 3-0 up after just 10 minutes, her aggressive approach paying dividends against an opponent who looked nervous in what was the biggest game of her career.

"I think I stepped on the court super-confident and I played well," said Muguruza, who is coached at this tournament by Conchita Martinez, the only Spaniard to win the women's singles at the All England Club.

Said Muguruza: "Once you are in these situations before, you know how to handle them better.

"Definitely that helped me.

"I'm playing well.

"I want to keep it up for my last match and hopefully it goes well. I'm going to enjoy it.

"Being in a Grand Slam final is a great achievement."

This year's women's tournament has been marked by some fiercely contested and tight battles, but this was a disappointingly one-sided affair.

Muguruza appeared with heavy tape on her left thigh but there was no sign of any hindrance to her movement.

Indeed, the 23-year-old was simply stronger in every department, hitting 22 winners and just 11 unforced errors, as she won 60 points to Rybarikova's 33, with her backhand down the line fundamental to her win.

Muguruza, who won last year's French Open, was quick to the net and her groundstrokes flowed easily as she rattled off the first set in just 30 minutes.

FOUNDATION

Muguruza won 10 of 13 points at the net in the first set and that set the foundation for her dominance in the second.

Rybarikova had done remarkably well to reach this stage after a seventh-month injury lay-off, getting herself into great form by winning International Tennis Federation tournaments at Fukuoka, Surbiton and Ilkley.

But this was a step too far. Even when she was able to hold in the second, she needed to stave off two break-points to do so.

The final point was a rare rally but it ended with Rybarikova finding the net after being forced into the corner by Muguruza's relentless returns. - REUTERS

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