*Garbine Muguruza believes she can beat Serena Williams in the Wimbledon ladies finals tomorrow – because she’s done it before.
In fact, the 20-year-old Spaniard gave the now 20-time major champion her most lopsided loss ever at a Grand Slam tournament.
“She knows that I can win against her, that I’m not afraid,” said Muguruza, who beat Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of last year’s French Open. “I don’t think she’s really used to this. Serena, she doesn’t lose so many matches in the year.”
Williams hasn’t lost many matches since that day in May 2014. And at major tournaments, she’s lost only once since then, in the third round at last year’s Wimbledon.
The top-seeded American is now one win from completing a second “Serena Slam” — winning all four Grand Slam tournaments in a row. If she pulls off a sixth Wimbledon championship on Centre Court, the 33-year-old will just have the US Open left to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf did it in 1988.
The only thing that could stop her — or the only person who could stop her — is Muguruza, who until last year’s upset win over Williams at Roland Garros was relatively unknown even in the tennis world.
“It’s actually true that two years ago I was not in the top 100. It’s like, ‘Wow.’ In so short time, I’m here,” Muguruza said. “But it happens so many times.”
Williams has beaten Muguruza once since that day on clay in Paris, eliminating her from the fourth round at this year’s Australian Open. But even that match went to three sets, with Muguruza winning the first.
“We had a tough match the last time we played. And she’s given me problems in the past,” Williams said Thursday after beating Maria Sharapova for the 17th time in a row. “So this time I have to just go in it … and do the best that I can, just try to stay positive and stay focused.”