Record-chasing Venus Williams faces formidable Garbine Muguruza in Wimbledon final

Ross Houston
July 15, 2017

Martinez became the only Spanish woman to win Wimbledon when she defeated Martina Navratilova in the 1994 final and now she is back in a key role at the All England Club as Muguruza's temporary coach.

A less strong-willed personality would have gone into hiding, but Venus, after choking back tears when asked about the incident at the start of Wimbledon, has taken solace in her tennis.

"This year has been unbelievable in terms of my play, playing deep into the big events".

"I'm different, but not very different".

"But I like to take courage in the fact that I've been playing well this tournament and this year, and all these moments have led to this".

Their partnership has proved an instant hit as Martinez, who also coaches Spain's Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams, helped guide Muguruza back to the final two years after she lost to Serena Williams.

Just weeks ago tennis legend John McEnroe said that despite being the "best female player ever - no question", Serena would be ranked at number 700 if she played in the men's circuit. I think not everybody can do that.

With Serena absent from Wimbledon while she prepares to have her first child later this year, Venus has seized the opportunity to impose her ferocious will to win on a series of opponents nearly half her age.

"I miss her so much".

"I'm definitely in the position I want to be in". Of course, I'm excited about being again in another final, trying to take it a step further.

"I have to believe that, and I know she has to believe that".

There have been times since her last Wimbledon triumph in 2008 against Serena when it seemed the older of the two Williams sisters would hang up her racket.

Inspired by the soothing words of former champion Conchita Martinez, Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza believes she is ready to follow in her fellow Spaniard's footsteps.

"All the names that I read on the honours board, I know all of them".

It is a testament to her durability and strength of character - not to mention a thoroughbred grasscourt game that is surpassed only by her sister who has seven Wimbledon crowns - that Williams still is at a level others can only dream of. "She's been really playing well on grass".

Other reports by iNewsToday