Magnificent Muguruza powers through to Wimbledon final
Garbine Muguruza stormed into the Wimbledon final with an utterly comprehensive straight set win over Magdalena Rybarikova on Centre Court yesterday. The match lasted one hour and four minutes, Rybarikova winning just two games and broken five times out of seven.
It was an absolute exhibition from Muguruza, the 2015 Wimbledon finalist, who effectively rendered Rybarikova irrelevant during their brief time together on court.
Muguruza insisted it was "not easy", even if it looked it, which it certainly did as she picked Rybarikova's game to pieces in the 6-1 6-1 triumph.
"I have to say Garbine played an amazing match," Rybarikova said. "I never saw her playing that well. Even when I played against her, she never played that well."
Muguruza played even better than she did against Angelique Kerber and Svetlana Kuznetsova in the last two rounds, dominating throughout from all over the court and never letting up.
Rybarikova looked blown away and even at her best she was prolonging games more than winning them.
It meant that Muguruza could wrap up the win so quickly and relax and prepare for tomorrow's final, which will be a very, very different contest.
From the moment when a Rybarikova double fault gifted Muguruza her first break, it was clear that the two players had arrived with different approaches.
"Obviously I was a little bit nervous in the beginning," Rybarikova admitted. And after holding her serve Muguruza then broke again, with a mobility that overwhelmed her opponent.
At 4-0 down Rybarikova looked utterly lost. "I had no idea what to do," she said.
When she finally held her serve to make it 5-1 she was applauded by the Centre Court crowd who had hoped to see more of a contest. Muguruza swiftly held to close out a brutal 30-minute 6-1 first set win.
What was so frustrating for Rybarikova and the crowd was that the second set followed precisely the same pattern. Rybarikova's service game to open the second set lasted longer than most, but it went the same way. Muguruza broke her yet again.
Rybarikova had to break Muguruza, if only to prolong the match, but when the Spaniard's ace made it 2-0, there was no chance of this going the distance.
Muguruza broke for a fourth time but just when it felt as if the second set might be 6-0, Rybarikova dug in and won a hard-fought service game in which she saved two break points.
So Rybarikova managed to take the match beyond the hour mark but not by much.
"If she plays like this," Rybarikova said, "she has a huge chance to win it."