On this day in Latinx history: Tennis champion Garbiñe Muguruza is born
The Venezuelan-Spanish dual citizen is the only women to beat both Williams sisters in a Grand Slam final
Garbiñe Muguruza, the top-ranked women’s singles player in the world and the 2017 Wimbledon champion, is the only woman who has ever defeated both Venus and Serena Williams in a Grand Slam final. Muguruza, who was born on Oct. 8, 1993, in Caracas, Venezuela, completed the feat at this year’s Wimbledon tournament.
The 14th-seeded player beat Ekaterina Alexandrova, Yanina Wickmayer and Sorana Cîrstea to reach the fourth round, where she took down Angelique Kerber, 2016’s Wimbledon runner-up, in three sets.
In the quarterfinals and semifinals, the Venezuelan-Spanish dual citizen defeated seventh-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova and Magdaléna Rybáriková, both in straight sets, for her second Wimbledon final appearance. Muguruza met 10th-seed Venus Williams, whom she beat in straight sets to earn her second Grand Slam title.
Muguruza, the daughter of a Spanish father and Venezuelan mother, began playing tennis at age 3 while in Venezuela. Her family moved to Spain, where she attended tennis academies to hone her game.
It would take three years after she turned pro, but Muguruza began to make serious noise on the tennis circuit in 2014 when she took down then-No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki en route to reaching the last 16 in the Australian Open.
The then 20-year-old followed up that performance with a second-round, straight-set upset of Serena Williams, the top-ranked woman’s player at the time and Muguruza’s childhood idol, in the second round of the 2014 French Open. She advanced to the quarterfinals in that tournament.
Serena Williams and Muguruza would meet again the following year in Wimbledon’s title match, but Williams came out victorious with a straight-sets trouncing. After the match, Muguruza debuted in the Top 10 as the No. 9 ranked women’s singles player in the world. Later that year, she would win the 2015 China Open to capture her first premier-level crown.
In 2016, she met Serena Williams in the French Open championship match and returned the favor from Wimbledon, defeating Williams in straight sets to capture her first Grand Slam title. That victory and several other strong showings on the court contributed to her No. 2 ranking.