Garbine Muguruza takes on the mighty Serena Williams in the Women’s 2016 French Open Final, and the young Spaniard has every chance of troubling the great American.
Muguruza has reached a Slam final before – losing to Serena at Wimbledon last year – but with another year on tour under her belt, the 22-year-old poses a much stronger threat this time around.
The Spaniard hasn’t lost a set since losing her first round opener, winning all of her last five matches in just two sets, including her semi-final win over the experienced Sam Stosur.
Williams may have won 6-4 6-4 over Muguruza at SW19 last summer, but the 34-year-old hasn’t enjoyed a perfect tournament, or a perfect year.
Injury disrupted most of Serena’s campaign, before bringing it together to win in Rome – the final tournament before heading to Paris.
And despite often producing her usual standard of untouchable tennis, Williams has come unstuck more than once at Roland Garros, suggesting Muguruza has a shot here.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion dropped the first set to Yulia Putintseva in the quarter-finals, before saving an opening-set point versus Kiki Bertens in the semis.
Serena is 8/15 favourite for that 22nd title, with her young opponent 6/4 to win the match, but there’s every chance it’s the outsider who could nab at least the opening set at 5/4 given Williams’ recent struggles.
If Williams brings her A-game, then there may be little Muguruza can do, but on recent evidence, that is deemed somewhat unlikely.
Having reached the semi-finals in Rome, and followed that run with a superb run to the showpiece in Paris, Muguruza has her best chance yet of defeating a far-from vintage Serena Williams.
It’s probably also worth mentioning that while Serena leads the head-to-head record 3-1, guess where Muguruza’s sole win came? Yep, on the clay in France in 2014.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.