By Simon Evans
LONDON (Reuters) – Spain’s Garbine Muguruza reached her second Wimbledon final in three years with a thumping 6-1 6-1 win over Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova on Thursday.
A visibly confident Muguruza needed just 64 minutes to beat the 87th-ranked Rybarikova, who had overcome third seed Karolina Pliskova and American Coco Vanderweghe on her unexpected run to the last four.
Muguruza, who lost to Serena Williams in the 2015 final, will face her sister Venus in Saturday’s showpiece after the American beat Johanna Konta in straight sets.
The Spaniard was 3-0 up after just 10 minutes, her aggressive approach paying dividends against an opponent, who as recently as March was ranked 453rd in the world and who looked nervous in what was the biggest game of her career to date.
“I think I stepped on the court super-confident and I played well,” said Muguruza, who in the absence of her regular coach is being guided at this tournament by Conchita Martinez, the only Spaniard to win the women’s singles title at the All England Club.
The women’s tournament this year has been marked by some fiercely contested and tight battles but this was a disappointingly one-sided affair.
“It was very difficult match for me. I have to say Garbine played an amazing match. I never saw her playing that well,” said Rybarikova.
“Obviously, I was little bit nervous in the beginning. It was not my best day. But she didn’t give me much chance to do anything,” she said.
Muguruza appeared with heavy tape on her left thigh but there was no sign of any hindrance to her movement.
Indeed, she was simply stronger in every department, hitting 22 winners and just 11 unforced errors as she won 60 points to Rybarikova’s 33 with her backhand down the line, fundamental to her win.
The Venezuela-born 23-year-old, the 2016 French Open winner, was quick to the net and her groundstrokes flowed easily as she rattled off the first set in just 30 minutes.
Rybarikova’s first service game of the second set was broken, and a sizzling backhand return winner down the line from Muguruza, the shot of the match, established another 3-0 lead.
Rybarikova had done remarkably well to reach this stage after a seventh month injury lay-off, getting herself into great form by winning International Tennis Federation tournaments at Fukuoka, Surbiton and Ilkley.
But this was a step too far. Even when she was able to hold in the second, she needed to stave off two break points to do so.
The final point was a rare rally but it ended with Rybarikova finding the net after being forced into the corner by Muguruza’s relentless returns.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge)