TENNIS ace Garbiñe Muguruza is hoping the women's final at Wimbledon will achieve what the men's will not this year – a win for Spain at the All England Club.
It took the 23-year-old just under an hour to dispatch Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova in two sets ending on 6-1 and 6-1 earlier today (Thursday), dominating the match from start to finish and only ceding 10 points.
The Roland Garros 2016 winner has gone up to eighth in the world on the back of today's match alone, but if she wins Friday's final, will leap-frog to number four.
But she is not due for an easy ride: the three-times Wimbledon finalist and reserve champion in 2015 will face the USA's Venus Williams, two years after losing to her sister Serena at the All England, after Venus beat the UK's Johanna Konta 6-4 and 6-2.
Muguruza – born in Caracas, Venezuela but with a Spanish passport – played very aggressively in the semi-final to Rybarikova's more subtle game, which had got her past the Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-final but was nowhere near enough to keep Muguruza's barrage of shots at bay.
Muguruza's coach Conchita Martínez, in the stands, was apparently more relaxed and calm than ever before, according to spectators.
This told them she had few fears for her protégée's place in the final, especially as Garbiñe has only lost one set in the entire tournament, to world number one Angelique Kerber whom she beat to get through to the quarter-final.
Conchita, from Aragón, is as yet the only Spaniard to win Wimbledon, back in 1994, and hopes her pupil – born in that same year – will become the second.
Rybarikova's loss still counted as an achievement, however, since she is the first-ever Slovak to make it to a Wimbledon semi-final.
And Garbiñe Muguruza had not expected such a walk-over against her, saying: “I played very well, because [Magdalena] is difficult and has played a great tournament.”