American Venus Williams missed Wimbledon’s £2.2 million prize money as she lost the final of the All England Club final to Garbine Muguruza. She now won £1.1 million.
The 23-year-old, who beat her younger sister, Serena, in last year’s French open to win her first Grand Slam, stopped the remarkable run of the 37-year-old Venus by winning the first women’s final to take place under the roof 7-5 6-0.
The Wimbledon runner-up from two years ago – proved that she is likely to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
“I had the hardest match today (Saturday) against Venus,” said Muguruza.
“She’s such an incredible player. I grew up watching her play – sorry,” she added, to the watching American.
“I feel incredible to be able to play her here. Of course I’m nervous because I always dreamed about winning it, but I was composed.”
Having lost to Serena Williams in the 2015 final, Muguruza becomes the second Spanish woman to win the Wimbledon singles title after her coach, Conchita Martinez.
A close contest was forecast, and for 40 minutes it proved impossible to separate the two finalists as their impressive serves dominated.
Williams started with an 109-mile-per-hour ace and if anyone was nervous it was one of the line judges, who let go a serve which on review was shown to have been half a yard out.
Muguruza, with her left thigh strapped, opened with a double fault, the first of five in the opening seven games alone as each invited early pressure onto their serve.
Neither took advantage but Williams came again at 5-4, this time with two set points when Muguruza missed a pair of routine forehands.
A breathtaking 19-shot battle from the baseline might have turned the match a different way but Williams hit the net before a booming Muguruza serve averted danger.
Now, at 5-5, it was Muguruza’s turn to crank up the pressure. She missed one break point but grabbed the second as Williams finally caved with a floating forehand long.
The crowd held its breath as Muguruza emerged to serve it out and then opened up two set points when a brilliant backhand defence looped over Williams and onto the line. Williams slapped into the net again and Muguruza moved one set to the good.
Williams had come within a whisker of winning the opening frame but you would not have known it in the second as Muguruza snatched an early break and then two more to lead 5-0.
All the momentum and belief seemed to have vanished from Williams’ game and the only disappointment for Muguruza was that her celebration had to wait for the result of her review. When it arrived she could barely hold back the tears.