Muguruza Becomes First Spanish Woman in 18 Years to Reach Wimbledon Semifinals

Garbiñe Muguruza continues her winning ways…

The 21-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player defeated Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3 in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Garbiñe Muguruza

In the process, Muguruza became the first Spanish woman in 18 years to reach the semifinals at the All-England Club (the last was Arantxa Sánchez Vicario).

Muguruza, a rising star on the WTA tour, had to overcome a strong challenge from her Swiss opponent. The pair had previously battled in the third round of the Australian Open, and this match was equally hard fought from the get go, the opening game a display of clean, powerful hitting.

Bacsinszky’s unorthodox shots kept her well-defended against Muguruza’s attacking groundstrokes. With her unusual, over-rotated grip, which sometimes leaves the right-hander holding her racket in her left, Bacsinszky sliced and chopped and more than once caught Muguruza at the back of the court while dropping the ball in just behind the net. Recognizing her opponent’s ability on the court, Muguruza threw everything at her first serve, and it was she who won the crucial break in the final game of the first set.

Consecutive breaks at the start of the second set left the players back on level terms, but as the match wore on it became increasingly apparent that Bacsinszky’s bag of tricks was running low. At 4-3 and 15-all Muguruza dispatched one of Bacsinszky’s wacky slices with a commanding down-the-line forehand, then took the first of two break points and served out the match in an hour and 27 minutes.

It was Muguruza’s first Wimbledon quarterfinal, and after her win Muguruza said she was surprised that her first Grand Slam semifinal will be played on this surface, especially after she had claimed after her first grass tournament in Birmingham that she was “never coming back”.

Muguruza celebrated her victory by bunny-hopping about the court. “It was a very intense game, the last one,” she said, “so it was happiness and relief.” She was three when Sánchez-Vicario reached the second of her Wimbledon finals and while she is not considering her place in history just yet, you cannot doubt her growing assurance. “All this experience helps a lot when you believe that you can do it. So I’m going to be more confident.”

Muguruza, the tournament’s No. 20 seed, will next face No. 13 seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

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