Paris - After Spanish younster Garbine Muguruza caused the biggest sensation at the French Open by ousting Serena Williams, her beaten opponent said she can go on and win the tournament.
The 20-year-old Barcelona resident sent shockwaves through Roland Garros when she stunned the 17-time Grand Slam winner 6-2, 6-2 on another overcast day on the Suzanne Lenglen court on Wednesday.
When asked what Serena said to her at the end of the match, Muguruza replied: "She said that if I continue playing like this, I can win the tournament. I said, 'I will try, I will try.'."
Ranked 35 in the world coming into the tournament, Muguruza won her first WTA tournament earlier this year when she triumphed in Hobart as a qualifier.
But her stock rose sharply on Wednesday as Williams made the earliest exit for a defending champion at Roland Garros since 2005 when Anastasia Myskina of Russia went out in the first round.
"I was nervous, but I said, 'Okay, be calm. She's also nervous, I have the opportunity, so I have to continue like this, to win'."
On only her second appearance in the main draw in Paris after losing in the second round last year to former world number one Jelena Jankovic, the road to the final has completely opened up.
"I think this year there are a lot of young girls that are playing really good. I think there is a change now in the top 100, a lot of girls are coming through," she said.
"These things are going to happen, you know, sometimes, a new generation is going to come, and I think now is the moment."
She also revealed Williams was the player she studied most whilst making her way up through the ranks.
"Since I was a child when I turn on the TV, I saw her play. Everything, when I'm practicing, Okay, how Serena serves, how she plays a backhand. I saw like 100 videos of her.
"But it was really difficult to be able to be calm, and say, it's another player. But I think I did it, and that was the reason I could play like this."
Her biggest career win sets up a third round match against Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia who knocked out Venus Williams earlier in the day.
"I believed that I can beat Serena one day, but of course it's a dream.
"Since I was a child, I thought, I want to play against Serena on centre court, and today was the day, and I think I did very good."