So where does the talented Spaniard go from here? It’s hard to say. There have been so many “up and coming” type players over the decades. Some make it big. Some become journeywomen players. Some make a big splash and fade away. Some don’t pan out at all. Obviously, Garbine has already surpassed that last category. She’s only 20, so there’s no rush to do everything right away. If she’s just competitive the rest of this year and then maybe picks up a title or two in 2015, that would be growth. For now, a title in Hobart is a great start to what could be a successful career. – from my post, Tsvetana Pironkova, Garbine Muguruza First Time Champions In Sydney and Hobart: WTA Wrap-Up 1.11.2014
When I wrote the above passage in January of 2014, I honestly had no idea how Garbine Muguruza would develop. Over decades of watching tennis I’ve seen so many young talents come and go. But since her win in Hobart, excluding her doubles success with Carla Suarez Navarro, Gabi has reached back to back quarterfinals at Roland Garros, upsetting Serena Williams in 2014. Now, with her 6-2 3-6 6-3 semifinal win over Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon 2015, Muguruza has reached her first ever Major final. And she has drawn the tallest of tasks in trying again to beat the living legend, Serena Williams, who earned another trip to the Wimbledon singles final by beating Maria Sharapova for the eleventy billionth time in a row. While Gabi did beat Serena on clay at Roland Garros 2014 and took her to 3 sets on hard court at this year’s Australian Open, this is the biggest stage in tennis. This is on grass at Wimbledon, where Serena is a five time singles champion. I can imagine something similar to last year, when first time Major finalist Eugenie Bouchard…who similarly came into the final talking about not being afraid…was walloped by another experienced Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova. But I think Gabi will play much better than Genie did…not that Genie played badly so much as Petra was at another level that day. If Serena comes in serving to her full capability then nobody can beat her. If Williams serves like a mere mortal or throws in a few double faults at inopportune times, Muguruza has the game to give her trouble.
20 GARBINE MUGURUZA (won 6-2 3-6 6-3 vs 13 Agnieszka Radwanska)
1 SERENA WILLIAMS (won 6-2 6-4 vs 4 Maria Sharapova)