Serena Williams continued her domination over rival Maria Sharapova Thursday trouncing the Russian 6-2, 6-4 to reach her eighth Wimbledon final.
Serena has now won 17 straight over Sharapova, all since Maria’s last victory at the 2004 WTA Championships. Sharapova also beat Serena at the 2004 Wimbledon Championships.
“It’s never easy to beat such a great player who’s had such a wonderful career,” said Serena who’s won 15 straight sets over Sharapova. “Whenever you play someone that you know, has beaten you before, you really get really focused, I think. That’s what I do. Whenever I know I have to play Maria, I know I have to be focused because she wasn’t the best in the world for no reason.”
Sharapova did do better than her 6-0, 6-1 loss the last time she faced Serena on Centre Court at the 2012 Olympics, but once again she fell short.
“I always expect her to play the best tennis against myself and a few other elite players,” Sharapova said. “She does always come up with great tennis. You have to be able not to just produce your best tennis, but more. Obviously it hasn’t happened for me.”
In the final, Serena will meet the surprising Garbine Muguruza who beat her 4th straight Top 15 player in 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
“I don’t even have words to explain how happy I am,” Muguruza said. “I worked all my life to achieve this moment so there are no words!
“I was just thinking that the match was going to be tough and I was very nervous in the second set. Radwanska has a lot of experience and I just fought. It’s going to be a dream – I’m in the final of Wimbledon – but I really want to win this tournament so I must concentrate for the next one.”
Muruguza, who had just one career Wimbledon win before this year, is the first Spaniard woman to reach the final at Wimbledon since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1997.
“I think is the best final you can play,” Muguruza said. “To have Serena in the Wimbledon final I think is the hardest match you can have. If you want to win a Grand Slam, when you dream, I want Serena in the final. She’s like one of the best players in all these years. So it’s obviously I think the best challenge to have.”
On first glance, the final appears to be a mismatch in Serena’s favor against the 21-yaer-old. But Muguruza handed Serena her worst career loss in a Grand Slam at the French Open last year in a 6-2, 6-2 victory.
The two met earlier this year in the Australian Open fourth round with Muguruza again pressing the World No. 1 in a 3-set loss.
“It’s definitely not an easy matchup,” Serena said. “She actually has a win against me. We had a tough match the last time we played. And she’s given me problems in the past. So this time I have to just, you know, go in it like have fun and do the best that I can, just try to stay positive and stay focused.”
In addition to going for a sixth Wimbledon title, Serena will try to complete her second “Serena Slam” Saturday, and continue her march toward a calendar Slam at the US Open.
“I don’t like losing,” said Serena. “I really hate losing. So I’m that kind of person that will work hard, work harder than anybody else to make sure I don’t get that. If I do, I learn from it better. That way I don’t have to do it in a long time.”
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