Serena Williams was looking to achieve the 22nd Grand Slam in Saturday’s French Open final but was defeated in straight sets by Garbine Muguruza.
The 22-year-old becomes the first Spanish winner at Roland Garros since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, who was watching from the President’s Box, won the third of her titles in 1998.
“I’ve grown up playing on clay, so for Spain and for me this is just fantastic”, added the Spaniard.
Williams did not look as listless as she had 24 hours earlier, but when she surrendered her serve to Muguruza in the fifth game by firing three backhand errors and a double fault, the signs looked ominous.
The second set was also Muguruza’s as the 22-year-old came out ahead from consecutive breaks of serve in the first three games, taking a 3-1 lead and putting the pressure on the American in a dramatic ninth game lasting nearly 10 minutes as Williams saved four match points.
As a serial victor Serena Williams has broken records without a backward glance throughout her career, but since September there is one milestone that has loomed ever larger in halting her progress towards the game’s pantheon.
“It was OK”, she said. Venus extended her record to 5-1 against her little sister, but Serena would win the next five Grand Slam finals they played over the next two years.