Spanish sensation Garbine Muguruza has set a date with the highly fancied Serena Williams at SW19. Join us as we weigh in on this improbable Wimbledon final matchup and serve up our tennis picks.
Garbine Muguruza Reaches First-ever Grand Slam Final
Over the last two years, the Wimbledon final has served up surprise finalists. In 2013, it served up a pair in Marion Bartoli and Sabine Liscki with the former winning her maiden Grand Slam title. In 2014, Eugenie Bouchard enjoyed a Cinderella run into the final only to get blown off the court by Petra Kvitova. This year, it's Garbine Muguruza to emerge into the Wimbledon final, marking her first-ever Grand Slam Final.
Ever since the regal Spanish rising star burst onto the WTA scene, we've been waiting with bated breath for her to make a breakthrough. She had Grand Slam champion written all over her; it was only a matter of time. Few though would have predicted she'd make the breakthrough on grass.
Muguruza Wimbledon Final Odds
To win match +450
To win first set +333
To win in straight sets +700
To win in three sets +1100
Grass is her least favourite surface. Or was until now. In 2012, she failed to make it out of the qualifying rounds. The following year she only reached the second round, exiting the tournament behind a loss to Ekaterina Makarova. And last year, she fell in the first round to Coco Vandeweigh in three sets.
Her lead up to Wimbledon was anything but promising with a first round exit at Birmingham to Rybarikova and a second round exit at Eastbourne to Konta. She entered the All England Club with a losing 1-2 record on grass and n the thick of a tough draw.
Indeed, Muguruza had to do it the hard way. Something, however, clicked for her the moment she opened her campaign. Immediately, she appeared more comfortable on grass than ever before. Her shot selection was better, movement more efficient on the luscious surface. She was also the aggressor in each and every mach, taking it to her opponents and dismissing them one by one. She took out Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Timea Bacsinszky and Agnieszka Radwanska en route to the final.
In the final, however, Muguruza takes on the ultimate test in the women's game: the nigh unbeatable Serena Williams. Muguruza has beaten Serena before, but it came at the French Open where she's most comfortable. She upset Serena in the second round by a stunning display of inspired tennis 6-2, 6-0 last year, when the American was the defending champion.
Overall, Muguruza trails 1-2 lifetime to Serena. Recently, they met at the Australian Open. Muguruza won the first set, only to succumb in three sets 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Serena Gunning For 21st Title and Serena Slam
Over the course of the fortnight, the narrative was pregnant with speculation about whether Serena Williams would pull off an incredible 21st Grand Slam win and the Serena Slam (for the second time in her career) at the same time. She's now one win away from achieving the remarkable feat with the tennis odds cornered in her camp rather dramatically at -700 at Bet365.
There's really no need to wax lyrical about Serena. Even the casual tennis bettor knows how brilliant she is and what a competitor she is when everything is on the line. At Wimbledon, she's had a relatively easy time of it, including the last two rounds that pit her against former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova. The American never looked in trouble.
Serena Wimbledon Final Odds
To win match -225
To win first set -500
To win in straight sets -225
To win in three sets +333
Standing in her way of a 21st Grand Slam title is first-time finalist Garbine Muguruza. While the Spanish star isn't exactly a surprise package, she's still surprised many by reaching the final of Wimbledon (most would have had her reach the French Open final or the Aussie Open and US Open finals before Wimbledon).
It only goes to show just how dangerous Garbine Muguruza is, not to mention the fact that she's the real deal. Serena is intimately aware of this, having lost to her at the French Open. She did get hers back earlier this year at the Aussie Open R16, but she can't take that for granted. The last time Serena Williams came up against a hungry first-timer in the Wimbledon final, she lost (2004 to Maria Sharapova). Muguruza has nothing to lose and everything to gain. This is her moment, that is, if she can wrestle it away from Serena Williams eager grasp.
Wimbledon Final Odds
Over 2.5 Sets -333 Under 2.5 Sets +240
Over 19.5 -120 Under 19.5 -120
Tie break in match Yes +300 No -450
Tennis Betting Verdict
The easy option is to bet on Serena Williams to win at -700, or better yet to pull off the straight set win at -225. That's the most popular tennis pick, underscored by her wealth of experience and conversely her opponents lack of experience at this level.
But why be such a conformist when there's such an eloquent story begging to be told. That of a Cinderella having her moment at the ball. Muguruza represents the wave of young guns coming to the forefront, and of the lot of them she has a big enough game to take on Serena Williams. So long as she can handle the occasion and nerves, she could pull off the feat. It's a long shot pick, but a muy attractive tennis picks at +450. A straight set win at +700 is also a great complement as is a three setter at +1100. With Serena standing on the opposite side of the net, one has the feeling this match will go the distance.
Tennis Picks: Muguruza to win at +450 and in three sets at +1100