Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Venus Williams targets sixth Wimbledon title, faces Muguruza searching for first

Venus Williams targets sixth Wimbledon title, faces Muguruza searching for first

It will be Williams's ninth at Wimbledon and the stage for a potential eighth grand slam crown and having defied the odds to reach this point, few would now bet against her.

"I don't think about my age", Williams told BBC Sport.

Venus Williams will try to become the oldest woman to win Wimbledon for 109 years on Saturday although, ominously for her the last time a 37-year-old reached the final, it was a Spaniard who ruined the script.

"She knows how to play, especially Wimbledon finals", Muguruza, the 2015 Wimbledon runner-up and 2016 French Open champion, said about Williams.

During these two weeks at Wimbledon, Muguruza has had 1994 Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez in her coaching corner.

Williams plays Garbine Muguruza on Saturday and, unlike Charlotte Sterry, who lifted the trophy in 1908 aged 37 years and 282 days, she will nearly certainly not travel to the All England Club by bicycle.

Eight years after her last Wimbledon final and more than two decades since Martina Navratilova became the last 37-year-old to reach the same stage, Williams produced the sort of attacking performance that led her to five titles in her heyday.

Muguruza, who won the French Open past year, is aiming to become the first female Spanish player to win at Wimbledon since Conchita Martinez, her coach, in 1994.

"I think it's very impressive".

Venus is breaking records at this year's Wimbledon.

"I don't know that I play exactly the same way she does. Not everybody can do that", said the woman who was only seven years old when Williams beat Lindsay Davenport in the Millennium year final. The Spaniard mirror the same result in her round of 64 match against Belgian Yanina Wickmayer (6-2, 6-4) and set her focus on more challenging prospects.

Since winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open past year, Muguruza had endured something of a sophomore slump as her ranking dropped out of the top 10.

- Muguruza could become just the second Spanish player to win multiple women's singles grand slams (Arantxa Sanchez Vicario - 4). "It's not a long time ago", Muguruza said.

Of the 42 grand slam matches in which Muguruza has won the first set she has lost only two, while Williams has won 232 of the 250 in which she has taken the opener.

"It was just a very surprising moment when you reach a final in a tournament where you thought it was going to be hard, but right now I know how to play more on grass".

Muguruza, born in Caracas to a Venezuelan mother and Spanish father, believes she has moved on from that post-French Open malaise, although it took half of last season.

WHICH ladies have conquered the courts of SW19 since the year 2000?

With both players boasting similar weapons - big serves and clubbing forehands, the outcome could depend on who shakes off the inevitable final nerves more quickly.

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