Wimbledon 2017: Women's final preview


Venus Williams will hope to reclaim her Wimbledon crown after a nine-year wait today against Garbine Muguruza, in a final that has the makings of a classic battle of the big hitters.

- Williams has also won at Wimbledon on five occasions, a tally only three other women can better.

But that doesn't stop her being amazed by her opponent's thirst for more success, having already won seven Grand Slam titles.

Muguruza can struggle to settle into tournaments due to her heavy ball striking, when it's off she plays scrappy, error-strewn tennis, when it's on she's close to unstoppable, as displayed during her 6-1/6-1 victory against Magdalena Rybarikova in Thursdays semi-final.

In the absence of her pregnant sister, seven-time champion Serena, Venus was left to uphold the family name at the All England Club this year. "In women's tennis, it's just wonderful that she's able to do what she's done".

Muguruza, the 14th seed, said she felt far better mentally prepared for the final this time.

The 23-year-old, who won the French Open in 2016 and will contest her second Wimbledon final, put Venus' longevity down to her love of the game. "I'm not sure exactly what she's doing".

It was a rare and revealing display of emotion by a player typically seen as pleasant but often careful and guarded in her answers.

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Williams arrived in England a few weeks after being involved in a two-car accident in Florida; not long afterward, a passenger in the other vehicle died.

"I'm definitely in the position I want to be in", she said.

The Spaniard won their most recent encounter this year, but it was on the clay courts of Rome.

Williams is a household name not only for the tennis fraternity but across global sport and Venus has now played at the French Open and the ongoing Wimbledon without 23 Grand Slam victor Serena, who is preparing to give birth to her first child later this year.

However, the 23-year-old has rediscovered her best form at the best possible time, also winning five of her six matches in straight sets and coming from a set down to defeat Angelique Kerber in a marathon fourth round clash.

Standing in the way of Williams and a drought-breaking eighth Grand Slam title is former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza. She hasn't faced a hard-serving player like Venus in this tournament before, but her renewed desire and belief could take her over the finish line. Now, knocking on the door for a title.

Elsewhere, there's doubles action and Court 2 should be tasty as Andrew Castle and Michael Chang play Patrick McEnroe and Jeff Tarango, while Court 12 has a very British flavour as Jamie Baker and Colin Fleming take on Greg Rusedski and Fabrice Santoro. Williams has hit 26 en route to the final.