Her other matches concluded with her best performance of the tournament, beating the previously out-of-sorts 13th seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the first semi-final on Thursday, shortly before Williams marmalised Maria Sharapova for the 17th time in a row, in straight sets and with a minimum of anxiety.
LONDON: Serena Williams insists she doesn’t care about making history even though the world No. 1 can add more luster to her legacy with victory over Garbine Muguruza in Saturday’s Wimbledon finals (Sunday in Manila).
“I think when she plays against me, she certainly does take you out of your game”, said Sharapova.
“It was really an experience that helped me say, Okay, Serena, you want to be the best, you’re going to have to do certain things and you’re going to have to improve certain things”. A victory here and at the U.S. Open later this summer would make her the first woman to win a single-season Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988.
Top seed Williams must win Wimbledon then defend her US Open crown to complete her first calendar slam, but claims “it’s not as stressful” since matching Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert’s 18 major titles.
Williams previously completed the Serena Slam when she won four consecutive majors in 2002 and 2003.
Even though Williams will be the considerable favorite, don’t forget that the hard-hitting 21-year-old topped the American last year at the French Open and claimed a set off the world No. 1 at this year’s Australian Open.
Muguruza is a hybrid power player.
They wanted to witness the semi-final but abided by Muguruza’s wishes when she pleaded with them to stay at home.
Whatever the result of the final, Williams’s status as one of the greatest tennis players ever is guaranteed, as is Muguruza’s future as one of the brightest stars in the game. “But I think I have to believe I can do it”. Williams was happy with her performance – so rare early at a grand slam – as she crushed Babos with relative ease. “She actually beat me before”. “The loss came as an eye-opener for me”, she said. Her 2012 French Open win made her just the 10th women to win all four major tournaments during her career. It’s what I’ve worked for.
Sharapova responded in kind by questioning Williams’ coupling-up with coach Patrick Mouratoglou, saying: “If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids”. But I don’t need another Wimbledon title.
Asked what she needs to do to be competitive against Williams, Sharapova responded: A lot more than Im doing..
Muguruza threatened to run away with her match against Radwanska after winning the first set 6-2 in 34 minutes.
Now she faces 20-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, a destroyer of fairy tales.
It was another chastening defeat for Sharapova and, although the Russian world number four is due to return to number two in the rankings next week, the latest instalment of their one-sided rivalry provided further proof of the vast gulf in class.
“It wasn’t easy out there; it was interesting”, said Williams after coasting home – a statement to convince no one.
The only blips Williams has faced here, in her six matches leading to the final, were a contentious battle with Britain’s Heather Watson that went three sets and brought out a bit more spectator vitriol toward Williams than seemed warranted, and a hard-fought three-setter with Victoria Azarenka. “I have to be focused to do it every match”.
“Wasn’t really a good decision”, Radwanska acknowledged.