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Women’s champ wants
a dance with Federer
Muguruza wins first Wimbledon title
Through it all, Venus Williams
kept working, kept striving, kept
eyeing yet another Wimbledon
Through it all, through the difficult
days of adjusting to life with an en-
ergy-sapping autoimmune disease,
through the disappointing days of
first-round losses that led to questions
about retirement, through all of the
accumulating years, she pressed on.
And yesterday, facing Garbine
Muguruza in the final, Williams had
a shot at her sixth title at the All Eng-
land Club—nine years after her last
one and, remarkably, 17 years after
Williams twice was a point from
taking the opening set before un-
ravelling completely, dropping the
last nine games and losing 7-5, 6-0
to Muguruza, who earned her first
“This is where you want to be. I like
to win. I don’t want to just get to a
final,” said Williams, at 37 the oldest
woman to play in a title match at the
grass-court major since 1994.
She appeared ready to take control
yesterday, ahead 5-4 in the first set
and with Muguruza serving at 15-
40. But Williams netted a forehand
to close a 20-stroke exchange on the
first set point. And on the second, she
sent a return long. Muguruza would
go on to win that game—and the next
eight, too, to earn her third Grand
Williams owns seven of them—five
at Wimbledon in 2000-01, 2005, 2007
and 2008; two at the US Open in
2000-01. But her coach, David Witt,
offered one explanation for the way
everything came undone for Williams
“It was just nerves,” Witt said.
“She never, I thought, looked like
she was relaxed out there,” he added.
Williams arrived in England a few
weeks after being involved in a two-
car accident in Florida. Two weeks af-
ter the crash, a 78-year-old passenger
in the other vehicle died.
At a news conference following
her first-round victory at Wimble-
don, Williams was asked about the
episode, and she tried to respond,
before wiping away tears and briefly
leaving the room to compose herself.
Witt said they hadn’t discussed
what happened with each other once
the tournament began, hoping Wil-
liams could “just focus on the tennis.”
Up until late in the first set Saturday,
Williams did play quite well.
In 2011, she revealed she had been
diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome,
a condition that can cause exhaustion
and joint pain. Williams has since
spoken about how she turned to a
plant-based diet and learned other
ways to get by.
A half-dozen exits from majors after
her opening match made some think
Williams might stop playing tennis,
let alone return to its biggest stages.
“There were definitely some issues.”
Williams said this week.
But she never lost her love for the
sport or a desire to get her game back
in order. “I’m just very surprised that
she’s hungry to keep winning. She has
won almost everything. She’s not
(still) young, to be looking forward
to all these matches. She just shows
this toughness,” Muguruza said.
The strongest initial sign of a re-
naissance for Williams came during
a run to the Wimbledon semifinals a
year ago. Then, this January, she got to
the Australian Open final for the first
time since 2003, losing to her sister,
Serena. And then came these past two
weeks and her first appearance in the
Wimbledon final since a loss to Serena
Williams was asked more than
once by reporters Saturday wheth-
er the Sjogren’s or the accumulated
fatigue or her age played a role in the
way the match unfolded. But she
deflected those questions, instead
offering praise of Muguruza, whose
power and precision gave the Amer-
Williams hit five double-faults,
three in one game and once to get
broken to begin the second set. She
finished with 25 unforced errors, more
than twice as many as Muguruza.
This was Williams’ 16th Grand Slam
final, second of 2017. She sounded
certain that it won’t be the last. (AP)
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, right, proudly displays her winners’ trophy as
Venus Williams of the United States, left, leaves Center Court following
defeat in the Women’s Singles final at the Wimbledon Tennis
Championships. Muguruza won the match 7-5, 6-0. AP PHOTO
Does Roger Federer dance as
effortlessly as he plays?
tennis champion Garbine
Muguruza wants to know.
Roger Federer can
become the first man
in the century-plus
history of Wimbledon
to win the champion-
ship eight times. He
will face Marin Cilic
in the final today.
Federer, who turns 36
on August 8, would also be
the oldest men’s champi-
on at the All England Club
in the Open era, which
began in 1968. Federer
already owns a record 18
He is 6-1 against Cilic,
including a victory in the
last year when Federer
came back after dropping
the opening two sets and
facing three match points.
Federer winning this
year’s men’s singles fi-
nal would also please
the women’s champion,
Garbine Muguruza who
would like to cap her
Wimbledon victory by
dancing with Federer.
Muguruza won her first
title at the All England
Club, and Feder-
er will play for his
eighth on Sunday
against Marin Cilic.
The men’s and wom-
en’s champions used
to share a dance at the
Wimbledon gala at the
end of the tournament,
though that tradition
officially ceased in 1977.
Still, Muguruza was
asked her preference
for a dance partner at
this year’s champions’
“Oh, come on,” Mu-
guruza responded at
first, trying to brush
off the question. But
she quickly relented,
smiling broadly and
finally giving in.
said with a smile and
“And I like Cilic, I
have to say seriously.
“But,” Muguruza con-
tinued, shimmying in
her chair as if moving
to the music, “I want
to see if he’s that el-
egant also dancing.”
Much has changed for
Roger Federer since he
played in, and won, his
first Grand Slam final at
Wimbledon in 2003.
He’ll go for his
record eighth men’s
onship at the All
England Club, and
19th major trophy
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