French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza dominated the headlines in the Spanish press after winning her first Grand Slam title with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over American world No.1 Serena Williams in Paris.
The 22-year-old Muguruza prevented the 34-year-old Williams from tying German great Steffi Graf in the record books at 22 Grand Slam titles and pulling within two of Australian legend Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24, reports Efe.
Muguruza’s straight sets win over Williams made the front pages of newspapers across Spain, where photos of the new champion holding the Suzanne Lenglen Cup greeted readers.
The press hailed ‘Reina Garbiñe’ (Queen Garbiñe), with stories noting that she is the first Spanish women’s champion since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1998 at the French Open, the only major played on clay, a surface on which Spanish players have had tremendous success over the years.
Mundo Deportivo headlined its front-page story on the rising star “La reina de Paris” (The Queen of Paris), noting that the Venezuelan-born Muguruza would rise to No. 2 in the world when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday.
Sport cited the “limitless ambitions” of the new French Open champ, who told reporters that she was not satisfied with winning one Grand Slam title.
“I’d like to keep winning tournaments like this one, to dominate on the court, feel like the match depends on me,” Muguruza said after Saturday’s final against Williams, who many consider the best women’s tennis player of all time.
In 2015, Muguruza, who came up short against Williams in the Wimbledon final, became the first Spanish woman to qualify for the year-end WTA championships since Sanchez-Vicario in 2001.
The French Open has taken the careers of some Spanish tennis players like Sanchez-Vicario, who won three French Open titles and one U.S. Open championship, to the next level.
On the men’s side, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has won Roland Garros nine times, the most singles titles captured by a male player at one Grand Slam tournament and a feat that earned the title of “The King of Clay.”