Garbine Muguruza achieved the rare feat of overpowering world number one and defending champion Serena Williams to claim her maiden grand slam title with a 7-5 6-4 win in the French Open final on Saturday.
The 22-year-old fourth seed, who lost to Williams in last year’s Wimbledon final, became the first Spaniard to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998.
I can't explain with words what this day means to me, and that for Spain and for me this is just amazing.
Although her hard-hitting game seems more suited to faster surfaces, Muguruza won 14 consecutive sets en route to the final.
“I have been setting during the whole week to be less emotional, to believe more that I am here because I deserve my place here. I earned it. I played well and I earned to be in the final. I think just to not think about other stuff, just give it all on the court and it doesn’t matter who is in front or which round it is. I think just to control the emotions is the key sometimes, especially in a grand slam where you are very nervous and excited,” Muguruza said.
She is the third straight first-time Grand Slam winner after Flavia Pennetta at last year’s US Open and Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open.
The upset denied the world No 1 equalling Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22 Grand Slam titles.
“I ran up against two players (in last two grand slam finals) who, I think, in Australia Ann Kerber made 16 errors in three sets so what do you do in that situation? And then today Garbine played unbelievable so the only thing I can do is keep trying,” Serena said.