Muguruza no loner cowed by grass court
WIMBLEDON will naturally miss an old favourite with Rafael Nadal sidelined by injury. But Garbine Muguruza, armed with her sunny demeanour and blistering talent, seems perfectly happy and equipped to fill the void left by her great Spanish compatriot.
After he pulled out of the French Open with a wrist injury that has now prevented him from shooting for a third Wimbledon title, she flew the flag with her stunning victory over Serena Williams in the Roland Garros final.
Apart from her natural, cheery manner with the media, Muguruza is in many ways unrecognisable now from the kid who waltzed into Wimbledon last year as a promising talent and ended it as a finalist bold enough to give even Williams a fright.
She now stands as the world's No. 2 player, so assured and accomplished that she appears the one best equipped to halt Williams' march to a record-equalling 22nd grand slam title.
Something else she finds fairly incredible is the thought of playing alongside Nadal at the Rio Olympics, especially as neither of them normally plays mixed doubles.
Before then, there is the chance to make her mark on the grass again, a surface which, like many of her claycourt-loving compatriots, she once felt was only for cows.
"I had a love and hate with Wimbledon because at the beginning, it was hard for me.
"With time, I've got more used to grass and I think my style of game helps."
Muguruza was wearing the red shirt to show her love for Spain's Euro 2016 team - "In Spain, if you don't follow football, you're dead!" she laughed - but a whole nation appears to be smitten with her too now. REUTERS