For the first time in the Open Era neither of the top two seeds are present in the men or women’s semi-finals of a Grand Slam.
It wasn’t a bad situation for the women to be in as fans were pleased to accept a final between five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and the 2016 Roland Garros champion Garbiñe Muguruza.
— Garbiñe Muguruza (@GarbiMuguruza) July 13, 2017
Williams leads the head-to-head record 3-1 over Muguruza, but she last defeated the Spaniard in the 2015 Wuhan final. All three of Williams’ wins came on hard courts. Muguruza won their most recent meeting earlier this year in the quarter-finals of the BNL Internazionali d’Italia on clay.
At Wimbledon, Williams holds an outstanding 87-20 record. She is 5/8 in finals at the All England Club and is making her 75th main draw appearance at a Major.
Nine of Williams’ 16 Grand Slam finals have come against little sister Serena Williams. Venus is 2-9 against Serena but 7-6 against everyone else. Williams is the oldest woman to reach the Wimbledon finals since Navratilova in 1994.
If Williams wins it will be her first Grand Slam single’s title in nine years. The 37-year-old last won Wimbledon in 2008. Prior to this year’s Australian Open final, Williams’ last appearance in a Grand Slam final came in 2009.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 13, 2017
Muguruza is the 2016 Roland Garros champion and 2015 Wimbledon runner-up. The 23-year-old Spaniard is a stunning 3-0 in Grand Slam semi-finals and 1-1 in finals. Both matches were against Serena Williams.
With her run to the final, Muguruza became the third Spanish woman in history to reach at least three Grand Slam finals, alongside Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (12) and Conchita Martinez (3). Martinez is also serving as Muguruza’s coach this week.
37-year-old Williams is proving her run to the Australian Open final earlier this year was no fluke. Her form this year has not shown any sign of slowing down any time soon. She is averaging a 66% first serve rate and an 80% winning percentage on the first serve, 23 winners and three breaks per match.
Path to the final: Elise Mertens, Qiang Wang, Naomi Osaka, Ana Konjuh, Jelena Ostapenko, and Johanna Konta.
"Serena is always in my corner. Usually it's her in these finals"
— BBC Tennis (@bbctennis) July 13, 2017
Muguruza has been clean on serve this week. Like Williams, Muguruza has only dropped one set en route to the final, that set coming in the fourth round to world no. 1 Angelique Kerber. Muguruza is averaging a 67% first serve percentage, 23 winners and three breaks of serve for the tournament.
Path to the final: Ekaterina Alexandrova, Yanina Wickmayer, Sorana Cirstea, Angelique Kerber, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Magdalena Rybarikova.
Based on their form this year, Muguruza and Williams may set up one of the most exciting Grand Slam finals in years.
Few woman over the years have been able to say that they’ve beaten both Williams sisters once, let alone at the same event.
Since 1997, eight women have beaten both Venus and Serena in the same tournament: Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (1998), Steffi Graf (1999), Martina Hingis (2001), Kim Clijsters (2002, 2009), Lindsay Davenport (2004), Justine Henin (2007), Jelena Jankovic (2010), and Karolina Pliskova (2016).
What’s on the line for Muguruza is even more rare and has never been done before. No woman in history has ever defeated both Venus and Serena in a Grand Slam final.
This year’s Wimbledon final for Muguruza marks three straight seasons that the 23-year-old has appeared in a Major final. Overall, she has an impressive track record.
Earlier this season Muguruza retired from four tournaments and did not reach a final in the first six months of the year. Muguruza exited the WTA Top 10 after Roland Garros but currently sits at no. 9 with her run to the Wimbledon final. A win can propel as high as no. 5.
The ladies final will be played on Saturday, July 15 on TSN.