Muguruza played Williams using a steady battery of power, finesse and wondrous shot making to take her place in the pantheon of Grand Slam Dams
TERRANCE GAVAN – EDITOR
Bouncing on the red brick dust that adorns Centre court at Roland Garros, Gabine Muguruza seemed blissfully unaware that she was on the sublime side of destiny.
Muguruza could not have been as vapidly vacant of the apparition dug into the clay the other side of the white net as she appeared.
She is 22 and grand slam-less and she was playing Serena Williams who was pursuing her 22nd grand slam title.
Up a set and a break and staring at her fifth championship point Muguruza could have, like many before her facing the queen of Compton, California, simple wilted in the crucible that is Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Muguruza decided instead . . . to shine.
She denied odds because she hit with Williams.
Not many women on the circuit can match power with Williams but Muguruza pounded shot after shot with a tapered alacrity that belied her youthful form.
Nerves are supposed to factor in a final of this stature.
Muguruza giggled and hicupped but did now bow to the butterfly kisses that usually frazzle and bedazzle the young unstructured brain.
But. At Roland Garros Muguruza was all and everything that Serena Williams was not.
And but. . . This was clay.
Coming up is grass and then Forest Hills macadam. Two surfaces where even an aging queen may find redemption and friendly confine.
We await a rematch because this one was a pip.