Wimbledon

Muguruza powers into Wimbledon semi-finals

2017-07-11 16:27
Garbine Muguruza (Getty Images)

London - Garbine Muguruza powered into her second Wimbledon semi-final in the last three years with an emphatic 6-3, 6-4 win over Russian seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova on Tuesday.

Since winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open last year, Muguruza has struggled to return to the top and this is her first major semi-final since that Roland Garros triumph.

Muguruza will face Coco Vandeweghe or Magdalena Rybarikova on Thursday for a place in Saturday's final.

"I played good. I'm trying not to think a lot, just go for it and play my game. I'm happy it worked out," Muguruza said.

"It seems far away since I last made the final here. I'm a completely different player.

"It means a lot to make the semi-finals again, my breakthrough was here."

Beaten in the 2015 Wimbledon final by Serena Williams, Muguruza has a golden opportunity to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish for the first time while the 23-time major winner is sidelined preparing for the birth of her first child.

The 23-year-old, coached by compatriot and former Wimbledon winner Conchita Martinez, broke Kuznetsova in the fourth game of the first set, an advantage she never looked like relinquishing.

Kuznetsova, a former French and US Open champion, was in her first Wimbledon quarter-final for 10 years, but the 32-year-old had no answer to Muguruza's searing ground-strokes.

Claiming another break in the fifth game of the second set, Muguruza pressed home her advantage to wrap up the win in 75 minutes on Court One.

Later on Tuesday, Venus Williams will become the oldest Wimbledon semi-finalist since Martina Navratilova in 1994 if the 37-year-old defeats French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

A Williams win would also equal her sister Serena's total of 86 main draw match victories at Wimbledon, the most among any active player.

It is eight years since Venus last reached the Wimbledon final and the American star won the last of her five All England Club titles back in 2008.

Having stunned the tennis world by becoming the first unseeded player to win the French Open, Ostapenko is in her first Wimbledon quarter-final as she rides an 11-match winning streak at the majors.

Only three years ago, Ostapenko was winning the junior Wimbledon title and, aged 20, she is the youngest player left in the tournament.

Williams, this year's Australian Open runner-up, is the oldest Wimbledon quarter-finalist for 23 years

Following Venus onto Centre Court will be Johanna Konta, who takes on Simona Halep bidding to become the first British woman to reach the semi-finals since Virginia Wade in 1978.

Not since Jo Durie in 1984 has Britain had a female representative in the last eight and Konta, hoping to become the first home winner of the Wimbledon women's title since Wade in 1977, has added incentive to go a step further against Halep after their stormy Fed Cup encounter earlier this year.

Konta was reduced to tears by what she felt were threats and intimidation from the Romanian fans in Constanta during her match against Sorana Cirstea, but Halep fanned the flames this week when she claimed her compatriots had done nothing wrong.

Wade is among those taking a seat in the Royal Box for the hotly-anticipated grudge match.

Halep has extra motivation of her own as a victory over Konta will guarantee she takes over from Angelique Kerber as the new world number one.

Inspired by her coach Pat Cash's celebrations of the 30th anniversary of his Wimbledon title, American 24th seed Vandeweghe is targeting her first Wimbledon semi-final.

Vandeweghe faces Slovakian world number 87 Rybarikova, who has a 17-1 record on grass this season but has never made the last four at a major.

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