Superstitious Garbine Muguruza gets tough as she sets sights on Wimbledon glory

Garbine Muguruza celebrates reaching the Wimbledon final following victory over Agnieszka Radwanska
Garbine Muguruza celebrates reaching the Wimbledon final following victory over Agnieszka Radwanska

Superstitious Spaniard Garbine Muguruza could ban her parents from attending the most important match of her life after setting up a Wimbledon final showdown against Serena Williams.

The 21-year-old told her Venezuelan mother Scarlet and Spanish father Jose Antonio to stay away from her semi-final, where she won 6-2 3-6 6-3 on Thursday against Agnieszka Radwanska.

A first grand slam title match looms for Barcelona-based Muguruza, who said it felt like a dream and headed away from the All England Club to speak to her parents about tomorrow’s final, and the prospect of their presence.

They wanted to witness the semi-final but abided by Muguruza’s wishes when she pleaded with them to stay at home.

“They watched me on TV or on the computer today,” said Muguruza. “They told me two days ago, ‘We want to come’.

“I said, ‘No’. I don’t want to change anything. I brush my teeth at the same time. I get out of bed with the same leg. I’m not going to change anything.

“I’m going to talk to them now, to see if they’re going to come or not. We will discuss it.”

Muguruza has played the tournament of her life to set up the shot at Williams, who will be three quarters of the way to a rare calendar Grand Slam should she prevail.

Radwanska fears for her conqueror against the all-conquering American, and said: “I don’t think she can beat Serena in the final. I think Serena is not going to let her do that, not in this tournament.

“But I wish her luck. It’s going to be hard. If she does it, big respect.”

Only two weeks ago, Muguruza lost to Britain’s Jo Konta in the third round at Eastbourne, and she had never gone beyond the quarter-finals of a grand slam before.

But the heavy-hitting baseliner has enjoyed a thrilling run through the Wimbledon draw and added Radwanska to a list of victims that already included Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber.

Muguruza becomes Spain’s first women’s singles finalist at Wimbledon since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario lost to Steffi Graf in the 1995 and 1996 title matches. She is seeking to be her country’s first Wimbledon champion since Conchita Martinez lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish in 1994.

“You work all your life to achieve a grand slam final, to be in this situation. It’s like a dream, like a present after all the hard work,” Muguruza said.

“I think is the best final you can play. To have Serena in the Wimbledon final I think is the hardest match you can have.

“If you want to win a grand slam, when you dream, you say, ‘I want Serena in the final’.”

Meanwhile, finalist Williams has admitted she owes her calendar Grand Slam bid to Muguruza, the woman blocking her path to both that very target and a sixth Wimbledon title.

Williams labelled an “eye-opening” second-round defeat to Muguruza at Roland Garros last year as the turning point that heralded US, Australian and French Open triumphs.

The 33-year-old can complete the second ‘Serena Slam’ of her tennis life with victory over Spain’s Muguruza on Saturday, as she would hold all four major titles at the same time.

To complete a career-first feat of winning all four majors in the same year, Williams would then need to retain her US Open title later this summer.

The 20-time major winner has banned all such talk, but she views that 2014 Paris loss to Muguruza as crucial to her revival.

“It was an eye-opening loss for me,” said Williams, of her 6-2 6-2 defeat to the Spaniard.

“Some losses you’re angry about, and some losses you learn from. That loss I think I learned the most from in a long time.

“I got so much better after that loss. I was able to improve a lot, I worked on things.

“I didn’t see the results straightaway, but months later I started seeing the results more and more. I learned so much from that.

“Sometimes as much as you don’t want it or as bad timing as it could be, I don’t want to lose to anyone at a grand slam.”