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Serena Williams falls to Spain’s Muguruza in French Open final

PARIS — For a third vital in a row, universe No. 1 Serena Williams has been stopped brief of history. Her French Open adversary? A 22-year-old named Garbiñe Muguruza.

Saturday a Spaniard ranked No. 4 in a universe repelled Williams during Roland Garros to constraint her initial Grand Slam pretension with a 7-5, 6-4 victory, denying Williams a record-tying 22nd vital trophy.

“I’m so, so excited,” Mugurza pronounced on court. “To play a final of a Grand Slam opposite one of a best players, I’m so happy. Serena is a really absolute actor and we had to be prepared for each point.”

Muguruza is a third uninterrupted first-time Grand Slam champion in women’s tennis, following a victories of Flavia Pennetta (U.S. Open) and Angelique Kerber (Australian Open) in a final year.

While a outcome is a startling one on paper, Muguruza, who had mislaid to Williams in a Wimbledon final a year ago, had been in sizzling form in a leadup to a final, dropping usually a initial set she played and winning 12 consecutive sets thereafter.

She becomes a initial Spanish champion here given Rafael Nadal in 2014, and a initial Spanish lady to win Roland Garros given Arantxa Sanchez Vicario’s 1998 delight here.

Williams was again only a compare from Steffi Graf’s 22-major pretension Open epoch record, carrying mislaid in a Australian Open final to Kerber in 3 sets. She maintains a 21-6 record in Grand Slam finals.

She was romantic and nearby tears in her runner-up speech, in that she addressed a throng in French.

“Thanks to my coach, Patrick. We didn’t win today, but we’ll try again subsequent year,” she said, her voice cracking. Williams has worked with Frenchman Patrick Mouratoglou given 2012.

After winning a 8 Grand Slam finals she played in from 2012 to 2015, Williams has now mislaid dual in a quarrel for a initial time in her career carrying mislaid to Kerber in Melbourne. Muguruza is by distant a youngest stream Grand Slam winner, with Petra Kvitova (at 26) being a second youngest.

“A star is innate right here,” Chris Evert pronounced on Eurosport of Muguruza. “Women’s tennis has been looking for this lady. Serena has had it for so prolonged … we don’t consider it’s going to be a change right now, though eventually a Williams sisters won’t be in tennis, and we need immature stars. She fits a purpose on and off a court. Today was a day that, yes, Serena didn’t have her A game, though she finds a approach to win with her B game. Being in a second final was a bit some-more relaxing for Garbiñe, we think.”

At 34, a American now turns to a swarming summer calendar full of expectations as fortifying champion during Wimbledon, reigning Olympic bullion medalist in Rio and a U.S. Open, where she was dumbfounded by Roberta Vinci in a semifinals as she went for a calendar Grand Slam final year.

Muguruza took a 4-2 lead in a initial set behind measured, assertive tennis. But Williams pennyless behind and a Spaniard found herself portion to stay in a set during 4-5. She reason there, afterwards pennyless Williams and sealed out a illusory initial set in 55 mins when she pummeled a backhand leader down a line, out of strech of a scurrying Serena.

Muguruza matched Williams power-for-power, stroke-for-stroke via a match. Williams looked disabled by an abductor damage that she told reporters she had been traffic with after her semifinal. The American during times was flat-footed and off change during a baseline.

In a second set she pennyless Williams out of a embankment and afterwards confirmed that lead throughout, Williams portion to stay in a contest during 3-5 down. It was there that Serena would save 4 championship points in a drawn-out, thespian 16-point game. She’d reason to force Muguruza to offer it out.

She did, jumping out to a 40-15 lead and capturing a contest on her fifth compare indicate when a throw over Williams’ conduct strike right on a baseline. Serena, using for a ball, stopped since she suspicion it was out. Muguruza lifted her arms in delight and disbelief.

Muguruza wins €2 million ($2.27 million USD) for a victory, only a third of her career though by distant a biggest. She is 22-9 on a 2016 season.

Muguruza becomes only a second actor innate in a 1990s to win a vital pretension behind Kvitova’s 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon victories. She is only a seventh actor in story to possess some-more than one feat opposite Williams on clay, carrying beaten a American here in a second turn dual years ago.

The doubt looms vast now over Serena: It’s now if more than when, can she strech Graf’s 22 vital pretension record. She continues to be challenged by a slew rising stars in a women’s game.

PHOTOS: FRENCH OPEN WOMEN’S FINAL

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